Texas Retailers Association - November 2021 Newsletter

This Month's Organization Update


With the season of gratitude upon us, we are feeling particularly grateful for you. Our community of retailers, large and small, inspires us to do our best work to support you. Despite the continued unique challenges this year has presented, TRA continues to hold space for gratitude.


We are thankful for our partnership during this past year of patience and resilience and look forward to new and exciting opportunities and providing you with the tools and resources you need to thrive today and into the future.


Wishing you, your employees and family a very happy Thanksgiving.


Happy Holidays!

Theresa Flores
Texas Retailers Association


Legislative Update

Courtesy of Texas Tribune


According to the state comptroller, Texas is heading into an election year with projections that more than $24 billion will be left over at the end of the current budget, in spite of a pandemic that began with fears that the economy might be hit as hard as public health.


That projected pile of cash gives the political class the power to grant wishes — or to propose granting wishes — for budget-busting goodies their voters want, like lower property taxes, and higher spending on public education, health care, highways and law enforcement.


A couple of weeks ago, Comptroller Glenn Hegar said the state will bring in almost $23 billion more in general revenue during the current two-year budget period than he originally estimated.


He’s expecting the state to end the current budget period, which runs through August 2023, with almost $12 billion in the bank, and with an additional $12.6 billion in the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund, more commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund.


In spring 2020, Hegar was telling state lawmakers and budget writers to hit the brakes on spending, and to expect an economic downturn as the coronavirus took hold. The improvement in the official outlook has been steady and dramatic since then. In each of the last seven months, the state’s sales tax receipts topped $3 billion; it had only reached that monthly total three times in state history.

“Texas personal income, buoyed by support from federal pandemic relief spending, increased by an estimated 6.5% in fiscal 2021 following 5.4% growth in 2020,” according to the comptroller’s latest projection of state revenue. Gross state product increased 7.9% in 2021, and is expected to grow 8.3% next year, the report said.


Food and Product Labeling Litigation & Regulatory Update

By McguireWoods


McGuireWoods is hosting a complimentary webinar on Thursday, December 2, 2021 from 11am -12pm CT


Join McGuireWoods’ food and beverage and product labeling teams for the final webinar of 2021. Our theme this quarter is Festivus, and we will observe all aspects of this Seinfeld-inspired holiday, including the Airing of Grievances (regulatory and litigation developments we did not like this year), Festivus Miracles (developments we did like), Feats of Strength (tips for navigating recent developments), and the Raising of the Aluminum Pole.

In the spirit of Festivus, some lucky attendees will win an assortment of Festivus-inspired cookies from a gourmet bakery (rather than the traditional Festivus meal of meatloaf).

McGuireWoods Speakers

·     R. Trent Taylor, Partner, Richmond

·     S. Virginia Bondurant Price, Partner, Richmond

·     Kate W. Hardey, Partner, Charlotte

·     Benjamin P. Abel, Associate, Charlottesville

·     Royce B. DuBiner, Associate, Chicago

·     Alicia C. O'Brien, Associate, Los Angeles

·     Frank Talbott, Associate, Richmond

For more information on this webinar, contact:

Heather Fuentes

[email protected]


Texas Retailers Forum

Thank you for all of you that attended and participated in the Texas Retailers Forum, click below to view a brief gallery of the event.


We look forward to 2022, so stay tuned for when we announce our next event!


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

The new news with SNAP:  The summer P-EBT funds will be loaded onto Lone Star Cards beginning Nov. 29 and ending Dec.3.  The total will be approximately $1 Billion.   In addition,  there are still some remaining funds on participants Lone Star Cards for the regular P-EBT:  about $229 million.  TRA believes Lone Star customers will be spending these funds in December.


Texas WIC recently held a webinar to update the group.  The new news: The vouchers for fruits & veggies have been extended thru Dec. 31.  This will be about $10 million in extra sales.

In addition, Texas WIC announced a huge change in the vendor renewal process.

TRA and other grocery retailers gave feedback to Texas WIC regarding the process to renew a WIC license requiring invoices.  Based upon the feedback, Texas WIC will no longer require proof of product with invoices.  Also changed, the requirement to submit the list of LEB products.


Texas WIC has made a change adding Post Honey Bunches of Oats to the food list.


Texas WIC will be sending a survey to each grocery retailer to ask for feedback on the LEB process.  TRA encourages each WIC food retailer to give feedback to make the LEB (least expensive brand) process better.


The food monitors to check on compliance will begin in December.  They will have an emphasis on the fresh fruits & veggie program.  Also checking labeling of LEB, shelf pricing and minimum stock.  Texas WIC has committed the monitors will cover any violations with Store Management prior to leaving the store to make the corrections.  No sanctions will be assessed while the National Disaster declaration is in effect.  The exception would be if fraud is found in the program.


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]



A Free Financial Wellness Benefit

The holiday shopping season is now upon us and although it can be a joyous time of year, it can also be very stressful for others.  Research has found that people with high financial well being feel like they have enough money for the things that are important to them*.  


Southwest Financial understands that in many cases your employees are living paycheck to paycheck and offer financial assistance that can help them improve their financial wellbeing.  As a result, your employees are more engaged, which increases production and your bottom line.


For those that struggle with being financially secure, it’s an everyday struggle not just during a certain time of year.  Give your employees the free gift of a financial wellness benefit by partnering with Southwest Financial.  It’s easy to offer this great benefit to your employees. 


If someone else handles the employee benefits for your organization, please share this information with them.  We would love to partner up and offer a free financial wellness benefit to your employees.  Yes, it really is a free benefit!  But, the value that it adds to your benefit package is priceless!


This is a free benefit! Learn more about this free benefit here

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

*Gallup, Workplace June 15, 2021, “7 Things We Learned About U.S. and Canadian Employees in 2020”.


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)


FMS Solutions

Since 1974, FMS’ mission has been to help retailers succeed by providing
operators with the financial information and support they need to run their
business. Our employees understand grocery because we come from the grocery
industry. FMS is proud to be NGA preferred partner.


Contact Info:

Texas Retailers Association

13706 Research Blvd


[email protected]