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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Retail Federation (NRF) is making a concerted effort to reach out to Main Street merchants. The trade association this week announced the formation of the Small Business Retail Council to organize, recruit and engage independent community retailers in grassroots advocacy activities.
The Council will respond to the needs, concerns and interests of local shops and provide the NRF's small business members a forum to discuss their priorities and the most important public policy issues impacting them.
“We are bringing together some of the retail sector’s best small business leaders to build upon their integral role in drafting and shaping public policy,” stated NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Working with our state retail association partners, we hope to amplify the voice of small retailers in advancing the retail community’s agenda. The Small Business Retail Council will enhance and strengthen the partnership between small-business owners and NRF, and optimize industry engagement on our common goals.”
Two co-chairs will lead the Council's five- to seven-member steering committee, which will identify top issues, propose solutions and strategies, and help to coordinate grassroots efforts. Council membership will be comprised of independent retailers from around the United States, as well as small retailers that currently serve on the NRF board of directors, including Beth Aberg of Random Harvest Inc. of Washington, D.C., and Dave Ratner of Dave's Soda and Pet City of Agawam, Mass.
NRF made the announcement during its annual congressional fly-in event, the Retail Advocates Summit, which took place July 29-30 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C. More than 150 large and small retailers and state retail association executives gathered to advocate the retail industry's public policy priorities. Reforming the swipe fee structure and leveling the tax playing field between brick-and-mortar retailers and online sellers were among the issues discussed.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing Main Street merchants, wholesalers, discount and department stores, chain restaurants, home goods and specialty stores, and Internet retailers in the United States and more than 45 countries.