Texas Retailers Association - July 2021 Newsletter

This Month's Organization Update


Greetings Texas Retailers:


I hope you are all having a great summer so far and that everyone enjoyed a nice and “normal” Fourth of July holiday. This summer represents the opening of a new chapter as we emerge from the COVID pandemic. As we enjoy this summer and look forward to a much more normal rest of the year, the TRA team is continuing to stay busy on your behalf. Specifically, the start of the Special Session of the Texas Legislature this week, engaging on the implementation of new laws passed during the very successful Texas legislative session, as well as putting the finishing touches on a great program for our Texas Retailers Forum -- which is back and in person on October 26th. More details and highlights in this month’s edition of the TRA newsletter.

As we reported in the June TRA newsletter, the 87th Session of the Texas Legislature officially concluded on Monday, May 31st. That was the regular session. In late June, Governor Abbott announced that he would be calling the Legislature back for a special session to begin on July 8th, to deal with “unfinished business.” This primarily centers around SB7 from the regular session, which stalled when a quorum ceased to be present in the Texas House on the last day on which bills could be finally passed by the House. As always, TRA plans to actively monitor the proceedings of the Special Session, as well as shift to weekly Tax & Lege Committee calls (Thursdays at 2pm CT) throughout the Special Session. Check out the state issues update section of the newsletter for details regarding the Special Session of the Texas Legislature.


Registration and hotel booking are now OPEN for the 2021 Texas Retailers Forum, which will take place on October 26th, at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort, just east of Austin. The TRA team is working to finalize the Forum program. This year’s Forum will be a great one as we get back together in person, and it will feature great industry speakers and presenters, as well as other experts who will cover a variety of timely issues for Texas retailers. We look forward to seeing everyone at the TRA Forum in October, so be sure to register and book your hotel room TODAY!


As always, thank you for your continued support of TRA, and please don’t hesitate to contact me or any member of the TRA staff team at any time.


George Kelemen
Texas Retailers Association


Legislative Update

The 87th Session of the Texas Legislature officially concluded and was gaveled Sine Die, on Monday, May 31st. This was a session like no other, given the overlay of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new House Speaker in Dade Phelan, as well as the unprecedented winter storm in February. Despite all of the associated challenges, the Texas Retailers Association (TRA) team went to work on your behalf in the halls of the Capitol building, both virtually and in person, to deliver one of the most successful outcomes for retailers from any state legislative session in recent memory...


Texas Retailers Forum - Registration is OPEN!

TRA’s Retailers Forum is back! It's a great opportunity to provide our members and the Texas retail industry with a showcase event that includes valuable speakers, useful and informational tracks and sessions and quality networking opportunities and recognition for industry excellence. We are also pleased to be supporting the value of retail careers and education through the work off our education foundation, the Texas Retailers Education Foundation. We look forward to hosting retail representatives from across the state, get a good grasp on the issues that affect the industry and provide something valuable to you!


Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa - Room Block is OPEN!

Will you be joining us for the In-person Texas Retailers Forum this October? Well book your room now at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa, we look forward to seeing you there!


TRAPAC is in need of your support!

One of the most important actions you can take to help influence the policy making in Austin is to invest in TRAPAC or RAF, TRA’s political accounts. TRAPAC and RAF help amplify your voice at the Texas Capitol, protecting your business and our industry from legislation and regulation that could harm your bottom line. TRAPAC Support goes to: Reducing and ELIMINATING TAX BURDENS like inventory tax on property Fighting the one size fits all WAGE & LABOR ORDINANCES Fighting PAID SICK LEAVE and PREDICTIVE SCHEDULING PUSHING BACK AGAINST other anti-business regulatory burdens.  Without your support, TRA will not be making the necessary contributions this upcoming elections. Please consider making a PAC contribution via personal money or PAC to PAC.


Grocery Industry Update

SNAP benefits continue to dominate the news for supermarket operators.  P-EBT funds have been loaded onto Lone Star Cards and the total is over $3.5 Billion.  A little over 50% has been spent by customers and applications for P-EBT are being approved weekly by the State Agency.  In addition, the additional benefits up to max. family size were approved for July.  These additional funds could reach $96 million.  Of note, the regular SNAP benefits are slightly less than last year and the number of families receiving regular SNAP has decreased slightly.  This is due to the fact, this time last year, we were in the middle of the pandemic and more people were unemployed....


Grocers Adapt Merchandising, In-Store Experiences for Ethnic Customers

The combined buying power in the U.S. of African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Native Americans is an estimated $2.4 trillion, while Hispanics lead the way with $1.5 trillion, according to a Multicultural Economy Report from the University of Georgia. The report found that African-American buying power has spiked from $961 billion in 2010 to an estimated $1.3 trillion in 2018. Since 2000, this market has seen a 114 percent increase in buying power. The report notes...


Gensa Group

Are you feeling overwhelmed with your data? Are you questioning the reliability of your data? Excel and google sheets just aren’t enough for your needs? Have an abundance of reports or systems that don’t communicate?

We know these pains. And there’s nothing worse than having bad data, systems or programs as roadblocks, and having to wrangle your data. We rely on data to make smarter decisions.

We have decades of experience in resolving data issues and data analysis. We offer services in:

• data preparation, cleansing and matching

• data analytics using machine learning and artificial intelligence

• data warehouse consulting

• Training in business intelligence

• Data dashboards

• Data storytelling

• Software licensing


Media Payments Group

Media Payments Group provides safe, secure, and dependable payment processing, as well as cost-effective point of sale (POS) solutions that help you run and manage your everyday business functions efficiently. The increased popularity of the virtual world has caused a greater need for credit card payment processing services and point of sale solutions . But when it comes to choosing the right provider, here’s what sets us apart from the rest:

Transparent pricing custom designed to save you money
24-7 customer service and technical support
True partnership that promotes and supports your businesses growth
Online portal to track transaction history, batch totals, etc.
Next-day funding available if batch closed by 10pm CST


Read More

Max Linden | VP of Business Development

O: 844-MPGTALK | C: 713-855-9336

[email protected]


Exclusive Benefits for TRA Members

The Texas Retailers Association (TRA) has been working to help solve a problem affecting our members and every business in the US—access to affordable healthcare. COVID-19 has made that need more apparent than ever.

We are proud to bring you TRA Healthcare Solutions, available at the TRA Benefits Center website. With this solution, we can finally provide our members with access to high-quality, cost-effective health solutions that are flexible enough to meet your specific needs.


We fought to make sure that you would have access to medical, dental and vision plans from national carriers, but we didn’t stop there. This program will also provide access to cloud-based HR services, comprehensive business insurance, and new features to respond to COVID-19 like affordable telemedicine and virtual doctor visits.


Be on the lookout for more information from the TRA Benefits Center highlighting the benefits exclusive to TRA members. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to support your employees.

Member Benefits Center Info | Recruiter Benefit Info

David J. Hebert, Vice President - Client Executive
Office 713.276.8012
Cell: 281.606.2247
[email protected]


Christina Scott, Vice President - Client Executive
Office 572.379.2698
Cell: 512.497.4626
[email protected]



Is your productivity lagging?

As more and more people are getting vaccinated, your employees may be thinking about taking advantage of the warmer weather this summer.  Maybe that’s taking a family vacation or enjoying a staycation at home.  No matter how it’s enjoyed, your employees come back energized and more productive.  


What if you had a financial partner that can assist your employees with their financial needs, while helping your company increase production?  When you partner with Southwest Financial, not only are we here to assist your employees with their financial needs, here’s what you get out of the partnership:  


·         Enhance your benefits package at no cost to you (and no extra work!)

·         Increase direct deposit penetration

·         Lower overall payroll costs

·         Improve employee engagement and productivity

·         Increase employee morale

·         Reduce employee absences

·         Reduce the stress in your employees’ personal lives

·         Create more financially secure employees


For almost 60 years, we have helped employees of partner companies like yours get their finances back on track by offering affordable loan options, financial education tools, and sensible products and services.  This is a free benefit….and we do all the work!  As a result, that’s less turnover and increased revenue for your company.

Contact Venoka Daniels at [email protected] or 214.580.9930 to begin your financial partnership.


Lifelock - Do not be a victim of identity theft!

As a member, you receive 10% off LifeLock services and you can live freely knowing that LifeLock is searching over a trillion data points every minute of every day looking for potential threats to your identity. When LifeLock finds your personal information being used, they will alert you through their patented Identity Alert System.Click hereto sign up today!


Amerex - Your Energy Solutions partner!

A TRA-endorsed service provider since 2002, Amerex is the largest OTC (wholesale) natural gas, electricity and emissions trader in North America. Their real-time involvement in the wholesale energy market and their customized service has consistently yielded significant cost savings to TRA members. Save on your gas, or electricity!


Contact: Phyllis Anzalone

(281) 340-5273 (o)

(713) 705-0006 (c)


Contact Info:

Texas Retailers Association

13706 Research Blvd


[email protected]