Florida Retail Federation

Miami Herald

Hurricane Irma’s record-breaking fury and uncertain track is sending an unprecedented number of Floridians to grocery stores and gas stations, according to the Florida Retail Federation.

The Florida Retail Federation is predicting record spending for Halloween, with the average shopper plunking down $83.

Retailers are gearing up for the back-to-school sales tax holiday, the second-busiest shopping event of the year.

LeRoy Woodson

The Florida Retail Federation is taking Coral Gables to court over Styrofoam.  The south Florida city voted to ban polystyrene containers in February.

A North Florida Democrat wanted to crack down on malfunctioning gas pump printers, but at the last minute, he decided on a more measured response.

The Florida Retail Federation has launched a private health insurance exchange for its members. The exchange allows businesses to shop for group coverage plans and lets employees sign up.

MGN Online

There are just a few days left for Florida’s 10-day Back-to-School Sales Tax holiday.

iStockphoto

A bill expanding Florida’s civil citation program is heading to the House floor.

iStockphoto

A pair of juvenile justice reform bills is continuing to gain traction in the Florida Legislature.

Proof Brewing Company's vats at the Railroad Square brewery.
Nick Evans

It seems there’s new trouble brewing for Florida’s small but growing craft beer industry.  The Florida Retail Federation is challenging a long-standing exception to the state’s licensing rules that allows a brewery to sell beer in on-site ‘tasting’ or ‘tap’ rooms.  But this isn’t the only attack the state’s rules have drawn.

Beer is bipartisan.  Really, it’s hard to imagine something more people can agree on.  But, unfortunately in Florida, beer is a political issue.

laptops for sale
Vernon Chan via Flickr

This weekend is one many Florida shoppers and retailers look forward to all year. This year’s back-to-school sales tax holiday applies to more expensive items than last year’s did.

School supplies, clothes, computers and computer accessories qualify for tax-free shopping all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This year, shoppers can get out of stores with $100 worth of clothes and $750 worth of computers without paying a penny of tax.

Florida Retail Federation spokesman John Fleming says back to school shopping brings in $5 billion statewide.

MGN Online

A bill aimed at creating a uniform standard across the state to address residents’ wage theft grievances passed its first House committee Wednesday, but it was met with much opposition.

Restaurants are one type of workplace commonly accused of wage theft. Tallahassee chef Ben Bennett says it happened to him at one of his former jobs.

LHatter / WFSU News

The Florida Retail Federation is gearing up for the 2014 legislative session by throwing its support behind a series of proposed sales tax holidays and proposals to expand the duties of pharmacists.

Vice President Randy Miller says the group is behind a 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday pitched by Governor Rick Scott.

“This is the most wildly-popular holiday we encounter. People come out from all over, we bring people in from other states. It’s a great thing for citizens to be able to save on clothing and materials and supplies.”

Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Retail Federation originally predicted 2013's holiday shopping season would net 3.5 to 4.5-percent more sales than 2012 and officials say they’re on the way to meeting that goal – handily. Labor groups chided big retailers who pushed the sales weekend earlier to include Thanksgiving night in an attempt to maximize profits. Although overall numbers are up, Florida Retail Federation Spokesman John Fleming pointed out that whatever retailers might’ve gained by being open Thursday, they might’ve lost Friday.

A Florida lawmaker has received an award for his work on a wage theft bill that he’s filed for three years in a row on behalf of the Florida Retail Federation. But, opponents of the bill say he deserves a failing grade for championing the measure they say “makes it more difficult for victims of wage theft to recover their losses.”

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Allowing counties to create their own wage theft protection programs would no longer be legal under a bill that’s now headed to the House floor. While the bill allows for two counties that have their own ordinances in place to keep theirs, some start up programs enacted this year would be illegal and would place under a uniform set standard. And, opponents say that’s unfair.

Online Sales Tax Expansion Getting Bipartisan Support

Jan 25, 2013
Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

The idea of Florida collecting more taxes from online retailers is getting bipartisan support among state lawmakers. What was once an idea pushed mainly by Democrats is getting the attention of Republicans now that Florida businesses are calling for relief.

Kim Williams owns a stationery and party-supply store called the Polka Dot Press in Tallahassee. 

“We try to outservice everybody,” she said. “I mean, I preach that in my store to my staff.”

Black Friday Starts Holiday Shopping Season With A Bang

Nov 26, 2012

Black Friday’s long lines and mega bargains draw out early morning shoppers every year the day after Thanksgiving, and this year some stores even opened as early as Thursday night.

Black Friday gets its moniker for helping businesses go into the black or positive revenue.  And this past weekend was no exception.   John Fleming, with the Florida Retail Federation, says retail stores make anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of their annual sales during the holiday season.  He said this weekend went well for Florida.

Florida House and Senate conferees have begun trying to work out the differences between the two chambers’ versions of the new state budget.  Nearly all the budget-balancing emphasis has been on spending cuts, but one way to boost state revenue is still alive in the senate.  Tom Flanigan reports a Capital City meeting was the site of a pro-and-con debate on that idea.

A bill that would prevent local governments from creating their own rules to crack down on wage theft passed in a House panel Wednesday. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, the move came with heavy opposition from members of the public who say it would mean the end of a wage-theft protection program in Miami.

Wage theft can be anything from an employer paying an employee below the state or federal minimum wage to an employee not receiving a final paycheck at the end of their employment.