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Texas HHSC comments on SNAP eligibility rule

During a recent call with Texas Health and Human Services Commission, TRA referenced a study noted in the link here.  This study indicated a new eligibility  rule which would impact the number of families eligible for SNAP in Texas.  TRA will continue to monitor the issue and give guidance to food retailers regarding potential SNAP sales impact in 2020. "HHSC is currently reviewing the proposed rules, but has not made available any information on the impact to Texas distribution", says Duane Pietsch, Lone Star Business Services/ EBT. "It is my understanding that because the rules are only proposed at this time, HHSC cannot speak to impacts, and not likely do so until the rules are finalized by FNS."

TRA PartnerShip Discount Shipping Program

If you could get the same service from FedEx that you do today, but for a lower cost, wouldn't you jump at the opportunity? Through the TRA Shipping Program*, you can. When you enroll for this free TRA member benefit, you can ship FedEx the same way you do today. The only difference you'll notice will be the positive impact on your bottom line. Enroll today to save up to 27%* on select FedEx services. Visit www.PartnerShip.com/01tra for complete program details. If you have any questions call 800-599-2902 or email [email protected]

Your FedEx and UPS Shipments Will Be More Expensive in 2019
FedEx and UPS rates are going up in 2019, and it’s more important than ever that TRA members know how to mitigate the impact to their business. PartnerShip®, the benefit provider that manages the TRA Shipping Program, has analyzed the new rate charts so TRA members can accurately prepare for the year ahead. Download the free white paper to see a break down of where you’ll find the highest increases and get a simplified explanation of the complicated changes you need to be aware of.

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IRI Survey: Younger Millennials Outspending Older Cohorts in Food/Bev

Consumer confidence has been up and down in 2019. Despite a strong start to the year, confidence dimmed at the end of Q1 2019. It currently is surging again due to a strong labor market, but trade issues could easily cloud this outlook. This mixed bag is impacting consumer spending on food and beverages, according to the latest IRI Consumer Connect survey findings that recently were released. Food inflation softened in Q1 2019 to 1.7 percent compared to 2.2 percent in 2018, but not everyone is freely opening their wallets. Younger Millennials (born 1990+) are outspending older generations in food dollars, while older cohorts are more likely to be using a number of money-saving tactics to keep food bills manageable. To get a closer look at the most recent food and beverage trends for the beginning of the year, IRI also released “Early View 2019.”

Hemp Vs. Marijuana: CBD Continues to confuse

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp by removing the crop and its derivatives from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. That not only set into motion a race to get more hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products to consumers nationwide but also rampant confusion about their legality. Click here to read more.

Source: The Shelby Report

Farewell & Happy Retirement to Connie Yates

Texas Retailers Association say farewell to a great and valued colleague and member of TRA. As many of you know, Connie Yates with Albertson’s/Tom Thumb, officially retired from the company on September 6th, after over TWENTY-FIVE YEARS. Connie’s contributions to her company, the industry and TRA are too numerous to mention; simply put, she has been an institution within our industry throughout her career. There is more information about Connie and her career in TRA's September newsletter, which is only fitting, given what she has meant to TRA. Also, check out the Dallas Morning News Article about our beloved Connie Yates!

Texas Lottery: New Retailer Bonus Program Restored

The 86th Legislature restored funding for retailer bonuses at an appropriation of $2.019 million for FY 2020. The Texas Lottery introduced a new bonus structure September 1, 2019, based on that appropriation. You can learn more here

 

2019 Texas Retailers Forum Recap

2019 Retail Industry Award Winners Announced

Each year our members vote for the Retailer that has contributed more in the industry. We are proud to recognize these members, and thank them very much for pushing the industry forward with their contributions.

 

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TRA Recap of 86th Legislative Session

The 86th Session of the Texas Legislature officially concluded and was gaveled Sine Die, on Monday, May 27th. This was a different session than in the recent past because Representative Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) was the new Speaker of the Texas House. Additionally, the relationships between the big three, Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Speaker Bonnen seemed to be in sync on key legislative issues from the beginning of session, which was a bit different than recent legislative sessions. As always, Texas Retailers Association (TRA) went to work on your behalf in the halls of the Capitol building playing both offense and defense on a variety of issues.

TRA fought very hard to pass good legislation and to kill bad bills that would have been detrimental to our members and industry. On balance, TRA had a good legislative session, getting key TRA priorities passed into law, playing effective defense on potentially harmful bills, and leaving a few key issues to continue to be worked on during the interim. Overall, 7,324 bills were filed during the 86th Texas Legislature and 1,429 of them were passed. TRA actively tracked over 550 bills and hundreds more amendments directly impacting the retail industry.

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2019 Lobby Day Recap & Pictures

On Wednesday, March 20th, the Texas Retailers Association held their biennial Texas Retailers Lobby Day. Members of the Texas Retailers Association visited Austin, Texas to meet with Members of the Texas Legislature about the issues that affect the retail industry. Attendees started their day with breakfast, a briefing on the major issues, and a lesson on “How to Lobby.” After being bused over to the State Capitol, retailers walked the halls, meeting with key legislators and their staff about SNAP Distribution, Wayfair, consistent employment regulations, and other issues that concern retailers and grocers. Members of TRA’s Executive Committee met with Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dennis Bonnen. Attendees were encouraged to meet with their Representative and Senator as well. Click here to view some of the highlights from Texas Retailers Lobby Day 2019!

Texas food banks ready to help families impacted by government shutdown

More than 3.5 million Texans will get their February SNAP benefits early because of the partial government shutdown.

The Texas Health and Human Services on Sunday announced that the February SNAP benefits will be issued early. The state said current SNAP recipients will get February benefits automatically loaded onto their Lone Star Cards by Jan. 20.

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Information regarding the Government Shutdown and WIC/SNAP Benefits

The State of Texas announced that February food benefits will be provided early to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients. This gives recipients more time to manage their resources during the government shutdown due to the uncertainty about future federal program funding.

SNAP Recipients will see funds on their Lone Star cards by January 20th. While SNAP recipients are encouraged to not make mass purchases and try to space their food purchases throughout the whole month of February, retailers should prepare for both cases. Roughly three and a half million people will be receiving their benefits early and retailers need to be prepared to accommodate mass crowds.

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Letter: Texas Retailers 2019 Legislative Priorities

Dear Members of the Texas Legislature:

As the 86th session of the Texas Legislature convenes today, The Texas Retailers Association (TRA) congratulates each of you and extends best wishes for a successful session. Collectively, TRA represents more than 300,000 retail establishments and over 3.5 million jobs across the state. The association supports all levels of Texas retail including grocery stores, chains and single location small businesses.

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