The associations joined 90 others as signatories to an NRF letter
Jewelers of America, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and the Women’s Jewelry Association joined 90 other retail industry trade groups in signing a National Retail Federation letter to the White House urging the Trump Administration to protect public health and minimize the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Other similar communications have also been sent to the Department of the Treasury and Congress.
The letter states: “The economic harm from social distancing and mandatory store closures is real. Layoffs and economic hardship will surely follow, particularly for smaller, specialty retailers and brands … federal stimulus efforts must be swift and flexible enough to address the urgent need for access to credit to keep these businesses afloat.”
The retail industry, and the associated suppliers they support, are suffering cumulative losses that amount to tens of billions of dollars every week. As the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting 52 million working Americans, retailers are committed to sustaining their workforce even if stores must close temporarily.
The 90 national and state retail organizations that signed onto the letter agree that the paramount issue facing the industry right now is liquidity. The groups urged policy makers to consider proposals that protect and preserve the economic health of the retail workforce and provide sufficient liquidity for small, medium and large-scale businesses to remain viable until the end of the crisis.
“While some retail businesses may be considered ‘essential’ and may be able to remain open, many will not. It is important that the stimulus package provide a bridge, not a bailout, that is flexible enough for retailers and related suppliers of any size,” the letter states.
The letter and list of supporters is accessible here.
“Federal relief is paramount in the fight to protect our members and their employees. We will continue to advocate for our members together with other industry associations to amplify our voices at the national level,” says Jennifer Markas, executive director of WJA.
“Protecting the health of our members’ businesses is vital in this moment. That’s why we join voices with our fellow industry groups to demand the federal government take immediate action,“ says Tiffany Stevens, CEO, president, and general counsel of JVC.
“Our fight to protect retailers is more important than ever. Jewelers of America is fully committed to giving our members a voice during this challenging time and by joining forces, our collective voice will be heard,” says David Bonaparte, president & CEO of JA.
NRF has also created an online resource center for all retailers to access the latest information from government agencies and health experts to minimize the spread of the disease.