FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 21, 2021

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

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs HB 7061 Into Florida Statue, Creating Three Tax-Free Holidays for Floridians to Stock Up and Save

Tallahassee, FL – Governor Ron DeSantis today signed HB 7061approving three tax holidays established this session by the Florida Legislature. The law renews two historic sales tax holidays for Florida consumers to prepare for back-to-school and hurricane season. A new tax holiday "2021 Freedom Week" was also created to enable Floridians to save on summer supplies, activities and events. 

"Thank you to Governor DeSantis for bringing meaningful tax relief to Florida families and driving shoppers to Florida’s retail stores with the signing of HB 7061," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "These tax-free holidays enable Florida families to stock up on supplies for hurricane season, summer fun and back-to-school, and save on taxes. We encourage consumers to shop local during these savings events. Florida’s retail stores stand ready to welcome shoppers with open doors, stocked shelves and extra deals!”

The Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday will run over ten days, beginning on May 28 through June 6. Floridians will find these hurricane preparation supplies to be tax-free:

  • Portable self-powered light source selling for $40 or less;
  • Certain portable radios selling for $50 or less;
  • Tarps selling for $100 or less;
  • Ground anchor systems or tie-down kits selling for $100 or less;
  • A gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $50 or less;
  • Packages of certain battery types, selling for $50 or less;
  • A nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $60 or less;
  • Portable generators for use in a power outage selling for $1,000 or less; 
  • Reusable ice selling for $20 or less; and
  • Portable power banks selling for $60 or less.

Florida's new 2021 Freedom Week Sales Tax Holiday will begin July 1 through July 7 to encourage residents to enjoy time outside of the house again. The measure will help support local retail businesses and entertainment and boost Florida's economy. Tax-free items include the following events scheduled from July 1 through December 31, 2021: 

  • Live music events;
  • Live sporting events;
  • Movies at the movie theater;
  • Entry to a museum, including any annual passes;
  • Entry to a state park, including any annual passes;
  • Entry to a ballet, play, or musical theatre performance;
  • Season tickets for ballets, plays, music events, or musical theatre performances;
  • Entry to a fair, festival, or cultural event; or
  • Access or use of private and/or membership clubs providing physical fitness facilities.

The holiday also includes tax-free purchases on Florida-related recreational supplies including boating and water activity, camping, fishing, general outdoor supplies and sports equipment. 

The criteria for tax-free savings on boating and water activities include:

  • The first $75 on the price of life jackets and coolers;
  • The first $50 on the price of safety flares;
  • The first $150 on the price of water skis, wakeboards, kneeboards, and recreational inflatable water tubes;
  • The first $300 on the price of paddleboards and surfboards;
  • The first $500 on the price of canoes and kayaks;
  • The first $75 on the price of paddles and oars; and
  • The first $25 on the price of snorkels, goggles, and swimming masks.

Floridians may also enjoy tax-free purchases on the following camping supplies:

  • The first $200 on the price of purchase of tents;
  • The first $50 on the price of sleeping bags, portable hammocks, camping stoves, and collapsible camping chairs; and
  • The first $30 on the price of camping lanterns and flashlights.

Florida shoppers more interested in fishing can find savings on:

  • The first $75 on the price of individual rods and reels; or
  • The first $150 on the price of a set of rods and reels;
  • The first $30 on the price of tackle boxes or bags; and
  • The first $5 on the price of individual bait or fishing tackle; or  
  • The first $10 on the price of multiple bait and tackle items sold together. 

Other recreational savings include tax-free purchases such as: 

  • Up to the first $15 on the price of sunscreen or insect repellant;
  • The first $100 on a pair of sunglasses;
  • The first $200 on a pair of binoculars;
  • The first $30 on the price of water bottles;
  • The first $50 on the price of hydration packs;
  • The first $250 of the sales price of outdoor gas or charcoal grills;
  • The first $50 of the sales price of bicycle helmets; and
  • The first $250 of the sales price of bicycles.

Floridians can also save on equipment used for individual or team sports purposes. This does not include clothing or footwear selling for $40 or less.

The Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday is scheduled from July 31 through August 9. Florida families will be eligible to purchase clothing and school supplies without paying sales tax. School-related items include: 

  • Clothing and shoes, priced $60 or less per item; 
  • Backpacks, handbags and wallets, priced $60 or less per item; 
  • School supplies, priced $15 or less per item; and
  • Personal computers or personal computer-related accessories, up to $1,000 per item will be tax-free.

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.

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2021

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

Retail Sales Are Forecasted to Break Records, As Consumers Plan to Shower Mom With Some Extra Love This Year

Tallahassee, FL –  The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) announced today that Mother's Day spending this year is expected to break records, according to a recent survey. The growing enthusiasm to celebrate moms can be attributed to renewed consumer confidence as the COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue to expand. 

In a recent survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF), new data reveals that shoppers plan to spend up to $28.1 billion this year to show some motherly love or $1.4 billion more than the previous year.

The NRF predicts an increase in celebratory activities, with 80% of adults in the United States planning to celebrate Mother's Day. Families plan to shower mom with some extra love, to make up for the distance from last year's holiday with 49% of consumers planning an outing to brunch or another activity. 

"Florida retailers want to help shoppers show mom the love she deserves this Mother's Day and every day," says Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "When searching for the perfect item to show mom your love and appreciation, don't look further than your home state. For all your shopping needs, remember to shop local and 'Find It In Florida.' Our retailers are stocked and ready to help you find the perfect gift."

Shoppers plan to splurge on jewelry and electronics for mom. In fact, 59% of the $1.4 billion increase in spending can be attributed to jewelry. 

In all, the top 10 gifts shoppers are planning for mom include: 

  • Greeting Cards - 72%
  • Flowers - 68%
  • Special outing - 49%
  • Gift cards - 47%
  • Clothing/Accessories - 40%
  • Jewelry - 35%
  • Housewares/Gardening tools - 26%
  • Personal Service - 25%
  • Books/CDs - 23%
  • Electronics - 20%

This year, nearly half (44%) of shoppers plan to find mom a gift that is unique or different. Floridians plan to visit department stores, online retailers, local specialty shops, like florists or jewelers, and small businesses to find the perfect present. 

While 34% of shoppers still plan to purchase their gifts online, the total is down from 2020 when most consumers were at home during the pandemic. However, overall online shopping for the holiday is still above pre-pandemic levels. 

“If you prefer to shop online, you can still shop local. Choose to support Florida businesses by shopping online at brands that have a physical presence in Florida," said Shalley. “When you ‘Find It In Florida,’ you’re supporting jobs and your community."

Florida retailers are stocked up and ready to help shoppers safely celebrate the mother figures in their lives with a variety of safe and convenient methods.

  • 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.

When shoppers "Find It In Florida" and 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/mothers-day-spending-total-281-billion

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.  

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 28, 2021

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

Legislation Heads to Governor's Desk Permitting Pharmacists to Administer Flu Vaccines to Individuals Aged Seven & Up 

Tallahassee, FL –  The Florida House today passed Senate Bill 768, sponsored by Sen. Dennis Baxley. The legislation will allow pharmacists to administer influenza vaccines to individuals aged seven or older. SB 768 also permits pharmacists or registered interns under the supervision of a pharmacist to administer all approved immunizations and vaccinations to individuals aged 18 and up.

The Florida Senate previously passed SB 768 on Tuesday, April 21. The House took up the Senate companion bill of HB 1063, sponsored by Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin.

“Florida retail pharmacies play an important role in delivering vaccines safely and effectively at locations convenient to Floridians. This measure is critical to ensuring Floridians have access to health needs, during a global pandemic and well beyond," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “We are grateful for the support of Florida Senate and House to ensure Floridians can receive continued access to life-saving vaccines at our Florida retail pharmacy stores.”

The legislation follows Governor Ron DeSantis's emergency order issued last year to allow Florida retail pharmacies to administer approved immunizations and vaccines on the Adult Immunization Schedule by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We are thankful to the bill sponsors, Sen. Baxley, Rep. Fernandez-Barquin, as well as, Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, for their leadership to ensure a safer, healthier Florida beyond the pandemic," stated Shalley. 

The legislation will now be sent to the Governor's office for his consideration to sign into Florida statute. If signed, the measure will go into effect on July 1, 2021.

To read SB 768, visit: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/768/.

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.

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 22, 2021

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

On Earth Day, the Florida Retail Federation Discusses New Retail Recycling Intiatitives for Environmental Sustainability

The recent 'Every Bottle Back' initiative, by the American Beverage Association, aims to reclaim plastic bottles to be repurposed into new bottles.

Tallahassee, FL – In celebration of Earth Day, the Florida Retail Federation (FRF) is highlighting the new initiatives retail is taking in supporting environmental sustainability. 

Is your favorite beverage sitting in the fridge or pantry? Chances are that beverage bottle is made of recycled materials ready to be recycled again.

'Every Bottle Back' is an initiative created by the American Beverage Association in partnership with leading beverage companies including, The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo, to reduce the beverage industry's use of new plastic. The program teams up with environmental and sustainability leaders to reclaim used plastic bottles to be remade into new bottles. 

Elizabeth DeWitt, president and CEO of the Florida Beverage Association (FlaBev), spearheads the initiative in Florida. DeWitt works with bottlers and distributors to ensure that Florida retailers are making the effort to maintain and protect the beauty of Florida's landscape and resources. 

"Recycling is all about a change of mind in our industries," said DeWitt. "The more we can partner with the retailers and others in the community to educate people on the benefits of recycling and how they can do it easily, the more success we will have in making a positive impact on the environment."

The beverage industry partnered with recyclers to help to design a bottle specifically made to be recycled and reused with food-grade products. 

But their environmental efforts expand beyond reusable bottles. The Florida Beverage Association's community grant program helps educate communities, statewide, on the value of Florida's natural resources and helps create recycling projects in their own backyard.

The Florida Beverage Association in partnership with the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America has contributed over $170,000 to community organizations throughout Florida.

Last year, DeWitt worked with the University of Florida through the Florida Sea Grant to provide funding to install seabins at marinas to help collect waste and litter found in the water. The seabins will be installed this year as the project was delayed due to COVID-19. They also supported "ReThink Your Waste," an interactive exhibit in Orlando that explores individual's roles in waste diversion through the lens of a circular economy. 

This year, the Florida Beverage Association is working with Orange County Public Schools on the "Recycle Right Campaign" to provide over 200,000 local students with the visual collateral to properly recycle in schools. They are also working with the city of Miami to utilize Keep America Beautiful's "Waste in Place" curriculum in schools through its "Connect Kids and Community" program. This initiative will help to close the gap on recycling knowledge of students and residents in key communities. 

DeWitt says these programs are integral to educating the community by starting with the youngest generations to help create the foundation of accountability. So much so, her sons have already begun taking action.

"I have two small boys, and they tell me if I am not recycling something correctly. They are on my case!"

As Earth Day celebrates its 51st anniversary this year, the beverage retail industry is focused on continuing to drive innovation in environmental sustainability. America's leading beverage companies have introduced new efforts to reduce emissions and increase efficiencies. This includes: 

  • Introducing hybrid-electric commercial trucks to reduce emissions up to 30% per vehicle;
  • Converting over 250 service vehicles to fuel-efficient hybrid cars for a 20% increase in fuel efficiency;
  • Increasing use of alternative fuels; and
  • Monitoring miles per gallon to lower emissions and improve fuel economy.

Retail beverage companies have also focused their efforts on water conversation. U.S. companies reduced their water use by 4.4% per unit of product since 2011.

Florida's retailers are committed to working on improving their operations in the store and behind the scenes in a variety of ways. Environmental-friendly actions include:

  • Selling recycled and sustainable products;
  • Investing in energy efficiency for stores and operations;
  • Supporting grant initiatives to educate communities;
  • Improving supply chain performance; or
  • Implementing recycling infrastructure for the store and consumers; and 
  • Cultivating internal green initiatives and goals.

This Earth Day, as consumers consider shopping with a "green" purpose, remember to support local, Florida stores. When searching for sustainable products, remember to "Find It In Florida." When Floridian shoppers "Find It In Florida," they are not only helping the environment but also working to keep doors open, boost the local economy and support their communities. 

The Florida Beverage Association (FlaBev) is a key trade association that represents the retail industry, including Florida’s non-alcoholic beverage producers, marketers, bottlers and distributors. Florida's beverage companies support 19,000 jobs to Florida families and provide a $13 billion economic impact to the state.

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.

###

Page 1 of 24