FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 8, 2021

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

SB 50 Passes House Floor; Bill Requires Out-of-State Businesses to Collect and Remit Sales Tax

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida House today passed SB 50, the Senate companion to House legislation sponsored by Rep. Chuck Clemons and Rep. Chip LaMarca. This legislation will relieve Floridians of a cumbersome tax payment obligation and level the playing field for Florida retailers to competing with foreign out-of-state businesses.

“This historic measure is a win for all Floridians as it provides equity in sales tax collection, bolsters Florida's COVID-ravaged Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund and provides long-term relief on Florida's Business Rent Tax,” said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “The proposal provides a substantial boost to Florida’s retail industry that will allow for economic recovery, increased hiring and higher wages. We’re extremely grateful to House sponsors, Rep. Clemons and Rep. LaMarca, and Speaker Sprowls for their leadership in tackling this critical issue. We look forward to the timely concurrence of the Florida Senate.”

SB 50, sponsored by Sen. Joe Gruters passed the Senate floor last month.

Given a new amendment was added, SB 50 will now be sent back to the Florida Senate for approval.

To read SB 50, visit: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/50.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 8, 2021

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – Upon final passage of SB 50 on the Senate floor today,  Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation, released the following statement:

"There was a resounding sigh of relief from Florida retailers across the state today as they witnessed the passage of SB 50 by both chambers in the State Legislature. This critical legislation applies the online sales tax requirements fairly across all businesses, no matter whether they are headquartered here in Florida, across the country or around the world. By fixing the glitch, the Legislature has also established a source of revenue to replenish the state’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund. Importantly, the legislation provides long-term tax relief for all businesses that pay the commercial rent tax. We are thankful for the support of Senate President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls and bill sponsors, Senator Joe Gruters, Representatives Chuck Clemons and Chip LaMarca, for their efforts to "fix the glitch" in Florida's tax system."

To read SB 50, visit: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/50.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 29, 2021

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs SB 72 into Law, Establishing Protections for Businesses Against Frivolous COVID-19 Claims & Lawsuits

Tallahassee, FL –  Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 72 into law today, which establishes COVID-19 liability protections for Florida businesses and health care workers. 

"The Florida Retail Federation is thankful to our Governor for his leadership and support for Florida retail businesses during this unprecendented time," says Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "The COVID-19 pandemic has brought severe challenges to our retailers both small and large. But our Florida businesses have remained resilient in their recovery. They have reopened quickly and thoughtfully to safely serve their communities. With this bill signed into law, Florida retailers have the liability protection they deserve. We appreciate the leadership of Sen. Brandes and Rep. McClure for championing this key legislation." 

SB 72, Civil Liability for Damages Relating to COVID-19, will protect Florida businesses and health care providers who work in good faith to implement public health guidelines to prevent the spread of illness, from frivolous and unjust lawsuits. 

The legislation provides requirements for a civil action based on a COVID-19-related claim and provides that the plaintiff has the burden of proof in such action. The newly-signed law is effective immediately and applies retroactively. 

Florida retailers have gone above and beyond to protect their teams and their customers during the pandemic. To keep customers safe and healthy while shopping, retail store team members are taking appropriate health precautions to prevent the spread of illness. Many stores are offering alternatives to shopping in-store, such as curbside or delivery services.

To read SB 72, visit: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/72.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 29, 2021
CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Recent Sales Predictions Show Promise for Florida Retailers This Spring As Businesses Continue to Recover and Reopen

Tallahassee, FL –  The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) announced today that Florida retailers should expect a promising Easter season this year. According to a survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) last week, new data reveals that retail sales will break records for the spring holiday. Consumers plan to spend $179.70 on average this Easter, the highest figure predicted on record.

The survey reveals nearly 80 percent of Americans plan to participate in festive activities. Total spending is anticipated to reach $21.6 billion this year. The surge in purchases can be attributed to the urgency to embrace the holiday a year later after the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic paired with the most recent stimulus funds.

As COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue to expand, Americans are gradually becoming more comfortable gathering together again. The top Easter activities this year are: cooking a holiday meal (59%), visiting family and friends in person (43%), watching TV (43%), planning an egg hunt (31%), and attending church in person (28%).

"Florida retailers are here to meet all your needs for Easter celebrations to be as memorable as they are safe," says Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "When you shop for candy, food, decor and other Easter items, be sure to 'Find It In Florida' and support local businesses." 

Shoppers plan to visit discount stores, department stores, online retailers, local specialty shops and small businesses for all their spring holiday goods. About 35% of consumers plan to purchase their Easter items online, up from 28% last year.

The top Easter items that Florida shoppers plan to purchase include: 

  • Candy - 89%
  • Food - 88%
  • Gifts - 64%
  • Greeting cards - 50%
  • Decorations - 48%

While not everyone will be participating in Easter festivities this year, about 52% of shoppers still plan to take advantage of the holiday-related sales, spending on average $21.11. 

Florida retailers remain committed to offering shoppers a variety of safe and convenient methods to fulfill their Easter shopping lists.

  • Visit: Visit your local retailer to shop in-store. 
  • Buy Online: Find your favorite Florida retailer online to select what you need for pickup in-store. 
  • Curbside or Delivery: Call your local retailer to place an order for curbside pick-up or delivery, where available.

As many local retailers continue to reopen and recover from the shutdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FRF would like to remind shoppers to "Find It In Florida." When Floridians shop local retailers, they help boost the local economy and support community businesses. Learn more about the "Find It In Florida" program at the website

For more information on the predictions of the National Retail Federation, visit: https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/average-easter-spending-expected-be-highest-record

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.  

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