Washington—With negative campaigning already in full swing—and expected to worsen as November approaches—the retail industry wants to make sure that President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney take some time away from prodding each other and consider the key role that retailers play in the economy.
On behalf of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president/ceo and chairman of RILA’s board of directors, and Sandra L. Kennedy, RILA president, send each candidate a letter this week urging them to keep retail in mind as they discuss their plans for the economy and nation.
“As this year’s political debate unfolds, we welcome the attention that has been paid to three issues of critical importance to all Americans: how to create jobs, speed our economic recovery and avert the certain disaster that would befall America if the fiscal cliff is not properly addressed. With that focus in mind, we write to underscore the importance of the retail industry in our economy and the critical role the industry will play in its revitalization. Indeed, the vibrant economy we all seek cannot exist without a robust retail industry,” said Steinhafel and Kennedy in the letter.
Retail: The Nation’s Second Largest Private Sector Employer
The retail industry is America’s second-largest private sector employer. Nearly 18 million Americans are employed in retail jobs and 10 million more rely on the retail industry for work. In addition, retailers pay billions of dollars in federal, state and local taxes each year, and collect and remit billions more in sales taxes to state and local governments, RILA said.
While the retail industry’s size and contribution to the economy cannot be understated, it is also hypersensitive to economic fluctuations and government regulations.
“When economic challenges strike or government actions such as harmful regulations and overly burdensome taxes emerge, the harm caused often affects the many individuals and industries reliant on retail. Conversely, when the environment is conducive to growth, entire communities can benefit from the retail industry’s success.”
“As you advance your vision for growing the economy, we urge you to consider policies that bolster a vibrant retail industry, allowing it to grow, add jobs and better serve consumers,” the letter advised. www.RILA.org