News Roundup: July 26, 2020

July 26, 2020

By Eric Payne, NGA Manager of Communications

NGA Backs Legislation to Provide Tax Relief to Frontline Workers

Earlier this week, NGA released a statement applauding the introduction of the FRNT LINE Act, authored by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), which would provide payroll and income tax relief for essential workers, such as grocery industry associates that have continued serving their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

NGA President and CEO, Greg Ferrara, said the following about the legislation:

“This pandemic has illustrated not only the resiliency of independent grocers, but also how critically important independent grocers are for America’s local communities and our nation’s food security. From meat cutters to grocery stockers, produce clerks to cashiers, distribution center order selectors to truck drivers, the independent supermarket rallied to support their communities and we are grateful for their willingness to step up during these challenging times. On behalf of the independent supermarket operators, the wholesalers who serve them and their store associates who have worked tirelessly and performed heroically throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we offer our full support of this bill that recognizes those efforts.” 

Click here to learn more.

Grant’s Supermarket Begins Online Ordering in Mercer County, WV

Grant’s has been eyeing online shopping for awhile; however, the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for the service. Now, the independent grocer is capitalizing on this demand, offering a convenient and safe option for customers looking to purchase products online. Learn more from WVVA here.

New Grocery Outlet Opens in Ridgecrest, CA

This week, a new Grocery Outlet opened in Ridgecrest, CA. The owners, Kristina and Adam, have been with Grocery Outlet for 6 years and plan to become involved in fundraising for schools, assisting churches, and donating to local food banks.

Last week, another Grocery Outlet opened in Desert Hot Springs, CA, with owners Albert Garcia and Lorraine Limon, Southern California natives that decided to return home and open the store. The two are experienced in the retail industry, with Albert getting his start as Janitor in a big box store back in 1994, eventually becoming Store Manager. Like Kristina and Adam in Ridgecrest, Albert and Lorraine plan to help their local community by supporting local nonprofits for children and donating to food banks in the area.

It’s been a busy month for Grocery Outlet as they also are in the midst of their tenth annual Independence from Hunger campaign, a mass collection of cash donations and pre-made bags of nonperishable foods at all locations. Additionally, Grocery Outlet is matching up to 1 million dollars of donations to multiply the results of the campaign.

Learn more and see photos from Grocery Outlet’s Facebook page here.

NGA’s Jim Dudlicek Recaps Recent Webinar on the COVID-19 Pandemic

NGA recently hosted a webinar featuring Dr. David Acheson, former Associate Commissioner for Foods at FDA and Chief Medical Officer at USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service – he is now CEO of Food Safety Consultancy for The Acheson Group

Here are the key takeaways from the webinar:

Masks are your best bet for prevention: Coronavirus is an inherently weak, “wimpy” virus, Acheson said. Face coverings are effective because it’s spread by aerosol droplets. The virus does not appear to spread through HVAC systems, and while it does not survive well on contact surfaces, good sanitation procedures are still important.

Don’t let your guard down: Social distancing, working remotely and other precautions overall are working to stem the tide and should continue for at least a few more months, Acheson said, suggesting that the surge originally predicted for the fall may actually be occurring now.

Testing is effective, but …: Tests for the virus are about 98% accurate now, Acheson said. But, he cautioned that antibody tests are still not very reliable, and that folks who think they may have antibodies should think twice before they abandon masks and social distancing.

Vaccine? Be patient: Acheson doesn’t expect a cure-all to be waiting just around the corner; vaccines are inherently very difficult to manufacture and make safe enough for mass administration, he explained. But there is significant momentum in vaccine development. As for herd immunity, Acheson said it is a real thing and we may eventually get it, but we’re nowhere near having 70-80% of the population infected to achieve it.

To view this complete webinar and others in the series, visit:

NGA Director of Government Relations Robert Yeakel Authors Blog on Commonsense Liability Protection for Independent Grocers Due to the COVID 19 Pandemic

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, essential businesses, sich as the independent supermarket industry, face unfounded civil lawsuits.

Since March 2020, over 3,500 COVID-19 complaints have been filed throughout the United States. With new claims appearing daily, it is imperative that the federal government take action to protect businesses who have complied with public health and safety protocols from these predatory lawsuits.

For the past several months, NGA has been working with a coalition of retail and essential business groups to advocate for liability protections for grocers.

Learn more about this issue and what NGA is doing on behalf of independent grocers here.