Advocacy Year in Review

NRF elevated the industry through multiple advocacy campaigns.
Sr. Director, Grassroots
December 17, 2019

Standing up for retail starts with us. Throughout 2019, NRF elevated the industry through multiple advocacy campaigns.

We led the fight against tariffs.

As a leading voice in the fight against tariffs, NRF and the Americans for Free Trade coalition educated Congress, the administration and consumers about the harmful impact of tariffs. ICYMI: NRF’s President and CEO Matthew Shay appeared on Fox Business in October to discuss tariffs and how they could affect the 2019 holiday season.  

We championed a reasonable overtime rule that meets the speed of today’s economy.

In September, NRF secured a long-awaited victory when the Department of Labor released the final overtime rule. Applauded by NRF as a reasonable and thoughtful approach to overtime pay expansion, the final rule provides regulatory certainty for American retailers while promoting upward mobility and workplace flexibility for employees.

We fought to fix the retail glitch in the tax law.

NRF fought tirelessly to earn bipartisan support on a proposed fix to a typo in the 2017 tax law known as the retail glitch. This mistake means retailers can only deduct 2.5 percent of remodeling costs in the year they are incurred, instead of 100 percent, and has been starving retailers of much-needed cash to make improvements to their stores. Members of NRF’s Taxation Committee flew to Washington twice to meet with legislators on Capitol Hill. Working together, we have secured 348 bipartisan co-sponsors for this legislation — demonstrating overwhelming support to fix the glitch.

We shared the story of retail through NRF Store Tours.

Get involved

Join NRF’s Action Team and let us know what issues matter to you.

NRF’s Store Tour program empowers retailers to host their members of Congress on a tour of their businesses. These visits help bridge the gap between Capitol Hill and Main Street and gives lawmakers the opportunity to experience firsthand how retailers operate, speak with customers and employees and discover what’s important to our industry. This year, NRF hosted seven lawmakers on tours including Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, at L.L.Bean Manufacturing in Lewiston, Maine, and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., in a small business roundtable at Carlton’s Men’s and Women’s Apparel in Rehoboth Beach, Del.

We did the work on Capitol Hill.

NRF hosted three congressional fly-ins to educate Congress on issues like the harmful impacts of tariffs, the importance of addressing the nation’s truck driver shortage and the need to modernize payment policy. It was a busy year: 177 retail advocates took to Capitol Hill and attended more than 240 meetings with lawmakers.  

We trained retailers at NRF’s Retail Advocacy Boot Camp.

In July, 25 small retailers gathered in Washington for the inaugural Retail Advocacy Boot Camp. This exclusive advocacy training program gives retailers the leadership skills to be effective, year-round advocates in Washington and back home on Main Street. Attendees learned storytelling techniques to move the hearts and minds of lawmakers and discussed tariffs and merchant choice in payment technology. The boot camp ended with visits with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, allowing participants to put their advocacy skills to work.

We activated more than 35,000 retailers with calls to action.

Retailers are the world’s greatest advocates and this year we engaged more than 35,000 retailers through the NRF Action Center. This digital tool enables our members to break through the noise and be heard in policy debates. Retail advocates made a difference in 2019, sending six times as many messages to lawmakers as they did last year.

We supported a pro-retail agenda through RetailPAC.

RetailPAC, NRF’s non-partisan political action committee, supports the campaigns of candidates who are pro-growth and pro-jobs — including congressional newcomers and incumbents. Watch the video to learn about NRF’s RetailPAC and how it supports the retail industry.

We look forward to continuing this success in 2020. Real change happens when we work together: Get involved in NRF’s Action Team and let us know what issues matter to you.

Related content

Action Center
We need your help to make sure Congress hears from retailers.
Take action
NRF Store Tours
NRF helps bring retailers and members of Congress together to tour businesses and get first-hand information.
Learn more
On the Hill
Discover the latest policy issues NRF is working on. Take action on issues and learn how to become a retail advocate.
Read more