Hardware Retailing

AUG 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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Independent Thinking A n important part of what the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) does is listen to you. So when Jeff Cardwell of Cardwell Do it Best Home Center in Indianapolis came to us with an idea, we listened. Jeff suggested that he could support his industry by encouraging NRHA and his fellow retailers to voice their concerns in Washington. Jeff has been involved in local, state and national politics his entire career. He served as a senior staff member for former Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana as well as during the Trump-Pence presidential campaign. He is well connected in Washington and believes his relationships could form the foundation of an advocacy effort for our industry's independent businesses. One of NRHA's missions is to advocate for independent retailers. Until now, that has primarily meant advocating for you to the wholesalers and vendors you work with every day. With Jeff's help, we now have an opportunity to give you a voice in Washington regarding the regulatory and legislative issues that most impact your business. Here's where we are in that process. We asked you to identify the national issues that are most important to you through an online survey. Next, we gathered a diverse group of independent retailers for the first NRHA Small Business and Government Roundtable at NRHA headquarters in Indianapolis. During the June roundtable, we discussed the results of the survey, identified the three issues that retailers identified as most important to them and decided on next steps NRHA might take. (Read additional roundtable coverage and see the survey results on Page 14.) Here are the three issues that roundtable participants identified as most important to their businesses. Health Care. For a good number of our roundtable members and survey respondents, providing health insurance for their employees has become cost-prohibitive. But, they also agreed that offering health insurance improves their ability to hire and retain good employees. The group decided that finding legislative solutions that allow small businesses to provide affordable, flexible plans is the most important concern. Internet Sales Tax Fairness. Competing against online retailers who do not charge or pay sales tax represents a competitive disadvantage for brick-and-mortar retailers. The roundtable members favor federal legislation mandating that online retailers charge sales tax and pay those taxes back to the states where the sales originate. They support a level playing field for all retailers. Corporate Tax Rates. Lower taxes leave more capital for reinvestment in the business. Our roundtable supports lower taxes and balancing the tax incentive disparities between large and small businesses. The roundtable participants also discussed possible next steps. NRHA will create position papers on each issue and will look for coalition partners among other organizations that support small business. We will learn from each other and join them in voicing your concerns in Washington. The roundtable will welcome new members and plans to meet regularly. NRHA will communicate with you about these issues and this group on an ongoing basis. If you would like to participate, please let me know. We're stronger together. Bill Lee, President and CEO blee@nrha.org " We now have an opportunity to give you a voice in Washington regarding the regulatory and legislative issues that most impact your business. " A Voice in D.C. HARDWARE RETAILING | August 2017 8

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