NGA Spends June Focused on the Economy, DIR Reform, and Raising Awareness about Foundation Initiatives

July 1, 2021

NGA Releases Economic Impact Study Highlighting Independent Grocers’ Pivotal Role in Growing the Economy 

A recent study conducted for NGA by John Dunham & Associates reinforced how independent grocers create positive impacts across the country via jobs, wages, and taxes. The study found independent grocers are responsible for more than 1.1 million jobs that earn wages of nearly $3.3 million.  

To view key takeaways from the study, click here. Visit to view the study, dig into state numbers, and view the study methodology.  

NGA’s Government Relations team will use this study to advance the priorities of independent grocers on Capitol Hill, focusing on policies such as a pro-growth tax code, streamlining federal nutrition programs, and ensuring a level playing field for community grocers. 

NGA Pushes for Pharmacy DIR Reform 

On June 17, NGA joined hundreds of community pharmacies, grocery store pharmacies, specialty pharmacies, chain pharmacies, patient groups, buying groups, health systems, wholesalers, and business groups pushing for legislation to stop DIR fees, which are abused by Part D plan sponsors and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to strategically recoup funds from pharmacies long after transactions have been completed.  

These fees are unpredictable, seemingly unconnected to a pharmacy’s performance or other standards. And the problem of DIR fees is getting drastically worse: between 2010 and 2019, these fees grew by more than 91,500 percent. Recently, a bipartisan coalition of both House and Senate pharmacy champions introduced legislation seeking to resolve this issue. The Pharmacy DIR Reform to Reduce Senior Drug Costs Act (H.R. 3554 / S. 1909) seeks to lower cost sharing for Medicare Part D patients and ensure that community pharmacies continue to provide vital healthcare access to millions of Americans. NGA and our pharmacy coalition partners are reaching out to members of Congress and asking them to cosponsor the legislation. 

Here are additional resources and how you can help:  

NGA Foundation Awareness Week Highlights Programmatic Pillars 

Last week, the NGA Foundation celebrated its first awareness week, with each day devoted to highlighting a programmatic pillar of its mission. Here is a recap: 

On day 1, the focus was scholarships, as easing the financial burden of education for grocery employees and students pursuing careers in the food industry is essential to maintaining a strong workforce. 

Day 2 turned to industry promotion, highlighting how the NGA Foundation communicates the importance of the independent grocery industry which supports recruitment and retention efforts, so grocers have access to qualified candidates, strengthening their teams. 

Leadership Development, an essential part of the foundation’s mission, was highlighted on Wednesday, with special attention given to the Education Leadership Development Program, a four-day program that includes a mix of interactive leadership instruction and personalized coaching. 

Elevating and developing women and diverse individuals aids in employee retention and ensures retailers can best serve their communities. That is why, on Thursday, the Foundation detailed their efforts towards Diversity and Inclusion, including PepsiCo Diversity in Leadership Scholarship, which will award one scholarship each year to a deserving woman or minority ELDP candidate that covers the cost of attending the program. 

Student Programs were on the schedule for Friday and we discussed how the Foundation provides opportunities for students to develop solutions to problems and connect with industry leaders. 

Please make a donation to ensure we can continue to offer these vital programs, resources, and initiatives. Awareness Week donors will be recognized online and in the press. 

After Persistent Lobbying from NGA, OSHA Drops Emergency Temporary Standard 

In early June, the Labor Department dropped its effort to implement unnecessary emergency workplace standards independent supermarkets, limiting the standards to health care facilities. 

NGA has been working to nix this recommendation for months, with our Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Counsel, Chris Jones, attending White House meetings where he argued that ETS is no longer needed due to widespread vaccinations, declining case rates, and extraordinary steps grocers are already taking to protect their employees.  

This is a big win for independent grocers – since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have gone above and beyond, abiding by local, state, and federal guidelines, keeping customers and employees safe.  The ETS had been under White House review since late April and was expected to apply to all workplaces including supermarkets, creating a regulatory and paperwork nightmare for independent grocers. Click here to view NGA’s full press release praising OSHA for dropping the Emergency Temporary Standard.