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NRF Issues Statement about Riots in the Nation's Capital

WASHINGTON, January 6, 2021 – The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay regarding the attacks on the U.S. Capitol as Congress was meeting to certify Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.

“This is a sad and distressing day for our country. For more than two centuries we have prided ourselves as Americans on our democratic principles, our nation of laws and the unique experience of peaceful transfers of power from one administration to the next, regardless of party affiliation.

“Our retailers, the millions of associates they employ and the communities they serve across the country want and need our elected officials to focus on the priorities that ensure faith in our government through stability. Today’s riots are repugnant and fly in the face of the most basic tenets of our constitution, and the Administration must move quickly to provide the leadership that will end this affront to our democracy.”

Courtesy of National Retail Federation 

Message from NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara

NGA members: In my fifteen years working for NGA, I've encountered quite a few crazy events at the US Capitol. I've had to shelter in place inside the complex during a police shooting, narrowly avoided a landing by a crazy man in a small airplane on the west front lawn of the Capitol, and have navigated thousands of protesters exercising their First Amendment right. I have never seen anything like the events that are taking place at our Capitol building today. 

To see protesters, some armed, storm the chambers of the US Senate and the US House of Representatives, should send chills down the spines of all Americans. These actions threaten our democracy. Part of what makes this country great is even with all of the security threats that America faces, we are still able to petition our elected officials face to face at the Capitol. 

I'm afraid today's actions may make that more difficult in the future and that is a loss for all of us. In a non-pandemic world NGA's government relations staff would likely have been on Capitol Hill, representing your interest, so I'm glad, for once, that COVID has kept our staff safe. I hope you will join me in saying a prayer for our nation this evening that we can tone down the rhetoric and come together as Americans. 

Tomorrow will be a better day in this wonderful country that we are blessed to call home. 



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RILA Statement on Capitol Protests

Washington, DC - RILA President Brian Dodge issued the following statement in response to today's events: 

The events at the US Capitol today were nothing less than an attack on our democracy. At a time when our elected officials were meant to perform a routine yet powerfully symbolic function of the peaceful transfer of power, they were met with a violent mob, incited by the President of the United States and his agents.

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TRA Statement Regarding Events at US Capital

The Texas Retailers Association (TRA) rebukes the attack on the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC this afternoon. This type of violence and destruction is unacceptable, regardless of the motivations. TRA members value the First Amendment right we have as Americans to petition our government, and we have enjoyed those opportunities to represent our association and industry in both Washington, DC and here in Austin. Unfortunately, today’s actions by a mob which crossed the line from their right to peaceably assemble to outright threats to public safety and destruction of property, will likely impact how lawfully abiding Americans engage with their government going forward. TRA stands with our national partner organizations in their respective statements below, regarding today’s events. Tonight, our thoughts and prayers are with members of Congress and their staffs, along with law enforcement protecting the Capitol, for their on-going safety and well-being.

HEB Now Accepting SNAP EBT for Curbside

H-E-B is now accepting SNAP EBT payments for its Curbside and Home Delivery orders directly on the My H-E-B mobile app and heb.com. At all H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery locations, customers can now use SNAP EBT to digitally pay for their orders for pick-up at the store or delivery to their homes.

To use the service, customers must create an account on the My H-E-B app or heb.com. During sign up, they will enter their SNAP EBT and other payment info. Once registration is complete, they can place an order and simply choose SNAP EBT during check out where they also will be required to enter their PIN. A credit, debit or gift card will need to be used to pay for items and fees not SNAP EBT eligible.

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Vaccinations are on the way for Texas Front Line

Four Texas sites received a total of 19,500 doses of the vaccine on Monday, the first phase of a rollout that will put a quarter-million doses into 110 Texas facilities this week — with more on the way next week.

First, a pinch in the arm.

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BGC Pharmacies to Offer Free COVID-19 Vaccines When Approved

Brookshire Grocery Co., in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is actively preparing for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines once approved and available for distribution.

As allocated by state officials, Brookshire’s and Super 1 Foods pharmacies will administer the vaccines to the public to support the goal of keeping our communities safe by offering this vaccine at no cost to the patient. Providing this free service will help maximize efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

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El Paso COVID-19 Shutdown Should Be Overturned: George Kelemen

When the COVID-19 pandemic first struck Texas earlier this year, it required a great deal of flexibility from us all.

Many quickly moved their lives online while health experts rushed to learn more about the virus and government officials worked to find solutions for preventing widespread outbreaks. In many areas, that process involved complete shutdowns to contain the Coronavirus until public health officials had a better grasp on what we can each do to play our part in flattening the curve.

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Tom Thumb Opens Deep Ellum Location

The very first customers poured into the store at 6am on Friday, November 6th.

(Dallas, TX) November 6th, 2020 — The shelves are stocked, Starbucks coffee is brewed, delicious baked goods are ready to taste, and the last apple has been tucked into place. Tom Thumb, DFWs grocer since 1948, has opened its newest location in Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas! The store is located at 2727 Live Oak St, Dallas, TX.

The 56,000 square-foot store is designed to delight and engage today’s shoppers in an urban setting. The store is tailored to the Deep Ellum customer and has so much to offer that shoppers will be delighted every time they visit! The store team, just over 300 associates, are ready to serve customers with the incredible customer service Tom Thumb is known for.

“Tom Thumb is proud to continue to serve North Texas with our newest store in Dallas and we are excited to be part of Deep Ellum,” said Wayne Denningham, President of Albertsons Companies Southern Division, which includes Tom Thumb. “Customers will find the new store has a wealth of amenities, as well as the value, quality, convenience, and excellence in customer service that is synonymous with Tom Thumb,” Denningham said.

Tom Thumb has always prioritized community connection in every neighborhood they serve and Deep Ellum is no exception. The Tom Thumb Foundation has donated $10,000.00 to the Baylor Scott and White Employee 1st Emergency Fund which directly benefits front line medical workers in need of help due to COVID-19. From one Front Line to another, we are proud to help our Baylor Medical Center Neighbors.

Tom Thumb is proud to share THIS VIDEO “SNEAK PEAK” footage highlighting some of the amenities offered throughout the store: 

Click here to read full PRESS RELEASE

NRF Congressional Fly-Ins - Virtual Town Hall Recap

As NRF reimagined its annual Retail Advocates Summit this year, the theme was “Agility in a Time of Crisis.”

But the first agility that needed to be demonstrated was how to bring more than 200 small retailers and state retail association executives together with members of Congress at a time when a global pandemic makes a trip to Washington impractical, if not impossible.

In response, NRF has turned the in-person fly-in into a series of virtual mini-conferences that still let retailers and lawmakers meet “face-to-face” — even if the faces are on computer monitors and the conversations take place over Webex.

“I’m glad if we couldn’t go to D.C., D.C. could still come to us and we could still participate in this event and make it really worthwhile,” Texas Retailers Association President and CEO George Kelemen said.

NRF held the first virtual Retail Advocates Town Hall on September 22 as a joint session for retailers from Texas and Oklahoma. Similar to the traditional in-person Retail Advocates Summit, NRF lobbyists briefed retailers on key issues facing the industry in Washington, and lawmakers were questioned on their positions on issues important to retailers. A similar event was held this week for Ohio retailers and additional sessions are scheduled this month for Florida and Washington state.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agreed that additional assistance is needed for businesses trying to survive the economic impact of the pandemic.







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TRA Board Transition 2020-2022

As you know, Luke Gustafson with the Brookshire Brothers company, has ably served as TRA’s Board Chairman for the past two years, however his term as chair came to an end on August 31st. We thank Luke for his service to TRA as our Board Chair and appreciate his leadership and contributions to TRA’s success. On September 1st, Theresa Flores with the Mary Kay company, began her two-year term as TRA’s Board Chair. Theresa brings a strong commitment to TRA, as well as years of service on the TRA Board; we look forward to working with her as our Board Chair over the next two years.

Transition of TRA Chairmanship



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Governor Abbot Expands Capacity of Certain Services in Texas

Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference to provide an update on the state's ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19. During the press conference, the Governor issued Executive Orders expanding occupancy levels for restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries, and re-authorizing elective surgeries for a majority of the state of Texas. The Governor also announced new guidance related to visitations at nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state.

In addition, the Governor implemented the use of reliable, data driven hospitalization metrics used by doctors and medical experts to help guide the state’s ongoing efforts to contain COVID-19 and expand occupancy for businesses and services. This metric focuses on areas with high hospitalizations — referring to any Trauma Service Area (TSA) that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of all hospitalized patients exceeds 15%, until such time as the TSA has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of all hospitalized patients is 15% or less. A current list of areas with high hospitalizations will be maintained at www.dshs.texas.gov/ga3031.

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The Pandemic Has Changed the Way We Shop at Grocery Stores

Grocery stores have really experienced a year like no other.

Stay at home orders put a lot of pressure on the supply chain and the pandemic has formed some new buying habits in shoppers that might be around to stay.

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H-E-B Continues To Aid MD Anderson Cancer Center Through Fundraisers

H-E-B is once again joining with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in an effort to end cancer in Texas, across the nation and around the world. Through Tuesday, Sept. 8, H-E-B customers can make $1, $3 and $5 donations during H-E-B’s fifth annual statewide fundraising campaign. Since the launch in 2016, H-E-B has raised more than $1 million in support of cancer research and patient programs at MD Anderson.

Donations can be made during checkout at H-E-B stores throughout Texas. New this year, customers also can donate at self-checkout registers and online or via the My H-E-B mobile app.

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Current list of city and county face covering ordinances in Texas

Texas Retailers Association would like to provide as many resources as possible for the retail industry across the state. Please be sure to stay on top of the latest local ordinances by visiting www.txretailers.org regularly. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Thank you!

Current list of city and county face covering ordinances:

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TRA statement on SCOTX decision on Austin PSL

Late on Friday, June 5th, the Texas Supreme Court issued its decision not to hear the city of Austin’s paid sick leave case (PSL), meaning the Austin ordinance is unconstitutional and voided. The city’s ordinance was struck down as unconstitutional by Texas’ Third Court of Appeals in 2019. Therefore, because the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, the Third Court’s ruling stands. 

Texas retailers are pleased the Texas Supreme Court has confirmed the Third Court of Appeals’ ruling on the Austin PSL ordinance. We continue to believe that one size fits all local employment ordinances are unconstitutional, as ruled by the Third Court of Appeals. These mandated employment ordinances are burdensome and hurt job growth. Most retailers in Texas provide quality wage and benefit packages including paid time off. 

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Governor Abbott Announces Phase III To Open Texas

June 3, 2020 - Governor Greg Abbott today announced the third phase of the State of Texas’ plan to safely open the economy while containing the spread of COVID-19. Under Phase III, effective immediately, all businesses in Texas will be able to operate at up to 50% capacity, with very limited exceptions. Business that previously have been able to operate at 100% capacity may continue to do so, and most outdoor areas are not subject to capacity limits. All businesses and customers should continue to follow minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

As with previous phases, the Phase III plan is based on the advice and support of the four doctors on the Strike Force to Open Texas medical team. Via Executive Order, Phase III begins immediately. A breakdown of Phase III can be found below.

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Governor Abbott Announces Phase One To Open Texas, Establishes Statewide Minimum Standard Health Protocols

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today announced the first phase of the State of Texas' ongoing plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Under Phase I, certain services and activities are allowed to open with limited occupancy, and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is issuing minimum standard health protocols for all businesses and individuals to follow. The Governor also outlined special guidance for Texans over 65 and detailed a comprehensive mitigation plan for nursing homes in Texas. The Governor also announced a statewide testing and tracing program developed by DSHS that will help public health officials quickly identify and test Texans who contract COVID-19 and mitigate further spread of the virus. 

The Governor's announcement is accompanied by Texans Helping Texans: The Governor's Report to Open Texas. This detailed report, available on the strike force website, helps Texans understand phase one by outlining the new protocols, guidance, and recommendations. The report also includes a series of Open Texas Checklists that outline DSHS' minimum standard health protocols for all Texans.

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Governor Abbott Reopens Texas Retail

TRA members: 

This afternoon, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced his initial executive orders to re-open the Texas economy from the COVID-19 crisis. Please refer to the Governor’s press release. In the press release you can find the Governor's Executive Orders and details about today's announcements


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Texas Stores Gear up for Retail-to-Go

By Reena Diamante Austin


AUSTIN, Texas — In an effort to get the economy going again, Gov. Greg Abbott is relaxing some restrictions for certain businesses.

“Retail-to-go” is the first phase of re-opening the state's economy for businesses forced to close amid the pandemic. The practice goes into effect Friday and will allow retailers that were deemed non-essential to start doing business again.

The governor's order calls for limited contact with customers by using curbside pickup or delivery services and maintaining social distancing guidelines. But, the big change to a small business is not child’s play. 


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