The retail industry has been devastated by the economic damage caused by COVID-19. Yesterday’s retail sales numbers marked the worst month in history for the industry as businesses across the United States were forced to close their doors to slow the spread of the virus.
To help retailers reopen and rehire Americans, once health officials deem it safe to do so, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is urging Congress to consider several policy proposals that will broadly benefit the retail industry and enable retailers to bring Americans back to work.
“The retail industry is vital to the health of the broader economy. The industry supports 52 million jobs; suppliers, transportation, warehousing, and many small businesses depend on a vibrant retail economy to do business,” said Michael Hanson, RILA Senior Executive Vice President, Public Affairs. “Policy proposals that will enable retailers to reopen and return to business will help jump start the rest of the economy. Once health experts signal that stores are permitted to reopen the retail experience will look different. Retailers are beginning to retrofit their stores to operate in a post COVID-19 environment. Tax credits and incentives, amongst other policy changes, should be made available to retailers who invest in health and security measures for their customers and employees.”
Policy proposal details were outlined in a letter sent to Congress today.
“RILA implores Congress to seriously consider the importance of the retail industry as they work on future legislative packages needed to address the economic damaged caused by COVID-19. While none of the individual policy recommendations alone are a panacea for the current strife strangling the industry, in totality they are meaningful measures that provide a favorable economic foundation that retailers could rely on as they work to rebuild their businesses. And the sooner retail can resurge, the sooner the country’s overall economic outlook will rebound benefiting all Americans,” said Hanson.
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.