Thank you Congressional Black Caucus!

Thank you for attending the NRF Retail Advocates Town Hall on June 3rd with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. You heard from leading lawmakers and learned the power of advocating on behalf of your business. 

Continue the conversation and thank them for their support. Together, we can make an impact on behalf of retailers everywhere. 

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Thank you for speaking to retailers from across the country at the National Retail Federation’s Retail Advocates Town Hall on June 3. We appreciate your work in Congress to support economic opportunity for Black-owned businesses.

The coronavirus pandemic disproportionately impacted Black-owned businesses, adding the stress of the virus to years of systematic racism and economic disparities.  According to a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research, 41 percent of Black-owned businesses have been shuttered by COVID-19, compared with just 17 percent of white-owned businesses. Our country recently observed the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd—and, more than ever, issues of racial diversity, equity and inclusion are at the forefront of national conversation. 

As you work on policies that impact Black-owned businesses, I urge to consider the following issues: 

  • Paycheck Protection Program – NRF strongly supported and small retailers are grateful that Congress enacted and quickly extended the PPP. Our attendees want Congress to help ensure SBA puts an easy to navigate process in place for loan forgiveness of the second PPP draw.  As of May 31, 2021, the SBA indicates that more than 468,000 loans totaling $15.3 billion have been made to small retailers to date. 
  • Payments Policy – NRF supports increased competition for routing of credit card payments. Applied to millions of transactions each day, swipe fees are small retailers’ highest cost after wages and benefits and drive up prices paid by consumers. Small merchants want to see more choice and competition in which networks they contract with to process credit card payments. NRF recently welcomed the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it will clarify its rules allowing retailers to decide where to route debit card transactions for both in-store and online purchases. 
  • DRIVE-Safe Act (H.R. 1745) – NRF supports the DRIVE-Safe Act, legislation that will allow employers to create two-stage apprenticeship programs with rigorous training and safety standards to ensure that drivers between 18 and 21 years of age can safely fill these much-needed jobs. Retail depends on a complex supply chain and a lack of professional drivers is adding to costs consumers pay. We encourage you to co-sponsor H.R. 1745. 

Again, thank you for your support. 

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