National Retail Federation creates Small Business Retail Council

Frankfort businesswoman Ann Wingrove among members

WASHINGTON D.C. (Oct. 16, 2014) — The National Retail Federation today announced the leadership team of its new Small Business Retail Council, which was created earlier this year to amplify the voice of local, community and independent retailers in the association’s public policy initiatives and priorities.

nrfThe leadership team features one representative from Kentucky, Ann Wingrove of Completely Kentucky in Frankfort.

“These small business owners are truly representative of the retail industry,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Not only do they live and work in retail, powering the economy, strengthening their communities and providing meaningful jobs and careers, they are also committed to the future health and well-being of the industry.”

As part of NRF’s Retail Jobs Week, the steering committee held its first meeting by conference call today to discuss the council’s mission, principles and public policy priorities. Among topics discussed was the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act, which would level the sales tax playing field between brick-and-mortar retailers and online sellers. The bill is expected to be debated during the lame duck session of Congress.

The Small Business Retail Council steering committee are:

  • Debbie Schaeffer of Mrs. G TV, Appliances, and Sleep Center in Lawrenceville, N.J.
  • Robert Jones of American Sale in Tinley Park, Ill.
  • Ann Wingrove of Completely Kentucky in Frankfort, Ky.
  • Beth Aberg of Random Harvest Inc. in Washington, D.C.
  • Brent Caplan of Caplan’s Inc. in Alexandria, La.
  • Brion Torgerson of Torgerson’s in Great Falls, Mont.
  • Dave Ratner of Dave’s Soda & Pet City in Agawam, Mass.
  • Edward Steinberg of J.S. Edwards Ltd. in Baltimore, Md.
  • Erin Calvo-Bacci of The Chocolate Truffle in Reading, Mass.
  • John Marshall of Grismer Tire and Auto Service in Dayton, Ohio
  • Larry Rice of Sierra Gourmet Grill and Wine Bar in Gardnerville, Nev.
  • Marc Sherman of Stowe Mercantile in Stowe, Vt.
  • Ruthena Fink of Grand Jete in St. Paul, Minn.
  • Sarah Pitkin of Pitkin’s Home Center in Dale City, Va.
  • Teresa Miller of Treats Unleashed in Chesterfield, Mo.

Working closely with state retail associations, NRF established the council in July to organize, recruit and engage Main Street merchants and independent community retailers in grassroots activities. The council is a forum to discuss the most pressing public policy issues and the priorities of local business owners and operators.

The Small Business Retail Council will:

  • Identify policy priorities concerning small retail businesses in the U.S.
  • Propose strategies and solutions on those priorities and challenges
  • Partner with like-minded organizations and stakeholders to amplify the voice of small businesses on the local, state and national level
  • Participate in the coordination of grassroots advocacy
  • Actively and vocally engage in retail industry priorities and issues
  • Provide suggestions and input on content and programs that NRF provides to Main Street retailers

The Small Business Retail Council advocates for policies that:

  • Protect small business owners from unnecessary and burdensome regulations
  • Empower retailers to make decisions based on what is best for their customers, company, associates and employees
  • Take into account the impact of a policy on small retail businesses in the U.S.
  • Support the future growth and prosperity of America’s small retail businesses
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