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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

Texas WIC Policy Revisions

Policy Revisions/Summary of Changes for WV: 03.0, 05.0, & 08.0

Dear WIC Vendor Community,

Texas WIC has revised the following vendor policies effective on November 1, 2020:

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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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TRA Election Endorsements

The Texas Retailers Association and the Texas Retailers Association PAC (TRAPAC) endorse the following members of the Texas Legislature for election in the 2020 general election. TRA/ TRAPAC endorsements are based on professional connection to the retail industry (retailers, vendors, supply chain, etc..), support for the retail industry through legislative votes on issues of importance to Texas retailers, and sponsoring of and/ or championing of legislation important to Texas retailers. Click here for full list.

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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TRA Remembers Joe Williams

  

Arlon Joe Williams Jr, 71, loved and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle passed away on July 25, 2020 from complications of COVID 19. He joins the Great Reunion and we know the Best is yet to come for him. Joe was born in Childress, Texas on June 4, 1949 to Arlon Joe Williams Sr and Peggy Ileyn Compton Williams. He grew up in Memphis, TX and graduated from Plainview High School in 1967 and then graduated from Texas Tech University in 1971 with a BBA.
He began his career with Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries while in college and continued with them until 1992. In 1994, he entered the pinnacle of his career with a move to the Gulf Coast Retailers where he served as President of Regulatory and Member Services until their merge with Texas Retailers Association in January of 2006. He was a member of the American Leadership Forum; the Food Marketing Institute; Government Relations Committee; Food Industry Association Board of Directors; Texas Interagency Task Force; and the Texas Attorney General’s Employer Task Force. He served on the advisory board for the University of Houston’s Retailing and Consumer Science Department. In 2004, he was appointed to the Maternal, Infant, and Fetal Nutrition National Advisory Council and was made chair of the Council for 2006. He also served as the President of his community’s municipal utility district and for many years served on the Board of the non-profit organization SEARCH. One of Joe’s greatest treasures was when he was awarded the NGA Spirit of America Award July 23, 2017. The award is one of the National Grocer Association’s top honors and recognizes individuals for their dedication and service to the independent supermarket industry. Their words still ring true – “Joe was a steadfast advocate for Texas grocers with a long history of serving both the supermarket industry and consumers alike.” Joe retired from the Texas Retail Association in 2018 and was enjoying his retirement from a long and well-respected career.

Joe is survived by the love of his life Jackie Gion Williams and they celebrated their 50th anniversary in October 2018. He is also survived by his daughter, JoLeigh Williams Haupt and husband Rob Haupt and son, Jeremy Clint Williams and wife Krista C. Williams. Poppa as known by most all was the hero of his beautiful grandchildren: Haleigh Rebecca Haupt and fiancée Tyler Kendrick; Holly Renee Haupt; and Harrison Haupt. He is also survived by his adopted children and grandchildren from Norway including Ingunn Hagen and children Stian Samdal and Nora Samdal. Also included in family is Marion and Gwen Gion of Rusk, TX and all the Gion extended family. Joe is also survived by his sister, Cindy Williams McCoy and husband Terry of Sugar Land, TX and sister-in-law Susie Williams Jones and her husband Griff Jones of Odessa, TX. Nieces and nephews include Reagan Williams Whytlaw (Brian), Abby Williams Bishop (Josh) of Odessa, TX. Also included Samuel Justin McCoy (Ashley) and Kelly McCoy Rainbolt (John) of Sugar Land, TX. He and Jackie spent many a day travelling to watch football games, cheerleader events, and any other thing that was requested by Poppa’s grandchildren. All family members would often participate in his love of hunting or fishing. His love of hunting was passed on from Daddy Joe and Joe took it a step further with his deep commitment to the Executive Hunting Club. He was on the board of directors since the 1980’s and enjoyed life- long friendships there.

Joe and Jackie shared a passion for their children, grandchildren, family and Jesus Christ our Lord. They built their rock on His foundation and were tireless in their commitment to their church Christ the King Lutheran Church. Joe and Jackie served in many capacities in the church and their community. One week Joe was leading a youth group mountain climbing in the Rockies and the next week hosting a backyard barbecue for Harrison’s football team. Joe would plan and devote entire family trips to making sure family understood his love of our country and God.

We will miss this man, this legend but know he is enjoying a good round of golf now with our Heavenly family. He was preceded in death by parents Joe and Peggy Williams; brother Nick Williams and many other Heavenly family members. In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests memorial contributions to the Joe Williams Scholarship Foundation at PO Box 1166 Huffman, Texas 77336, or the charity of your choice.

Joe Williams Celebration of His Life will be held:

Date: September 12, 2020
Time: 11:00am
Location: Christ the King Lutheran Church (Google Map)
                3803 West Lake Houston Parkway
                Humble, Texas 77339

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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Millennials are resurrecting items in stores

Millennials and their spending habits have been accused of killing everything from the idea of the starter home to mayonnaise. 

There are many reasons millennials' preferences differ from those of past generations — for the most part, they entered the job market during the last recession, and many have student loan debt to contend with. 

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New WIC Approved Foods for FY21

New WIC Approved Foods for FY21

Dear WIC Vendor Community,

Starting October 1, 2020, the Texas WIC Program will add new WIC approved foods to and remove some WIC approved foods from the Authorized Product List (APL).

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Texas WIC Vendor Quarterly Webinar

Texas WIC Vendor Quarterly Webinar

Dear WIC Vendor Community,

Join us for the Texas WIC Vendor Quarterly Webinar for the latest updates.

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Texas Governor Issues Statewide Face Covering Order

This afternoon, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced an Executive Order instituting a statewide face covering mandate Click Here, to go into effect at Noon on tomorrow, Friday, July 3rd. The Governor’s order requires that all persons in Texas (with minimal exceptions) wear a face covering when in public. There is an individual penalty of a warning for first offense and $250 fines for subsequent offenses for failing to comply with this order.  As a result of the Governor’s action today, retailers in Texas will no longer be in the position of enforcing or policing the wearing of face coverings, as it is now mandated statewide for all persons.

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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Extension for Substitutions to WIC Approved Foods

To support our WIC community, Texas WIC is again extending the temporary lifting of restrictions for some food categories. The flexibilities, which were previously extended through June 30, 2020, have now been extended through July 31, 2020. These flexibilities should be utilized only when prescribed food items are unavailable. The temporary WIC food substitutions are listed below.

Temporary Flexibilities Extended Through July 31, 2020

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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 Two To Open Texas

Governor Greg Abbott today announced the second phase of the State of Texas' ongoing plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Under Phase II, restaurants may increase their occupancy to 50% and additional services and activities that remained closed under Phase I may open with restricted occupancy levels and minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Additionally, the Governor announced that public schools in Texas have the option to provide in-person summer school so long as they follow social distancing practices and health protocols laid out by DSHS. These classes may begin as soon as June 1st.

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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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