Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) President Brian Dodge issued the following statement regarding the CARES Act, legislation crafted to provide economic relief and resources as the US faces the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The top priority of the retail industry is to keep our employees, our customers, and the communities we serve safe—that means stopping this virus and keeping families secure. Retailers in grocery and essential goods are going to extraordinary lengths to make sure every family has what they need to weather this crisis. The cashiers, the truck drivers, the distribution center workers, the associates stocking shelves and keeping the stores clean—Americans owe all these workers a debt of gratitude.
"On the other side of the industry, millions of retail workers are furloughed or on paid leave today, because non-essential retail is shut down out of an abundance of caution. Our next priority as an industry is getting our entire economy moving again, and back to normal as quickly as we can. Retailers aren’t going to decide when that happens, healthcare experts and medical professionals are going to make that call, but retailers are eager to help America get back to work as quickly as possible when its safe.
"The CARES Act addresses retail’s top priorities, and we urge Congress to pass and the president to sign the bill into law quickly. The $2 trillion package provides the kind of aid to hospitals and our healthcare system that we need to stop the spread of COVID-19. The package provides critical resources for out of work Americans—millions of which work in retail—so that they don’t have the added stress of falling behind on bills as they stay home from work. And finally, the package addresses the unique capital needs for businesses that have shut down and will need help re-opening and getting their employees back to work.
"The unprecedented speed with which many people found themselves out of work requires bold solutions to put those people back to work as quickly as possible. That’s going to be the key to recovery for families getting back on their feet, and for industries like retail that employ millions of people. The nation’s economic story, where we are a year from now, will largely be determined by how quickly we get people back to work. The CARES Act strikes the right balance of helping people get thru the immediate crisis and preparing businesses to get up and running as quickly as possible."
RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate.
RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.