Coming on the heels of the first presidential debate, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has launched a grassroots get-out-the-vote initiative, Retail Means Votes. The new, non-partisan effort dedicated to educating and engaging America’s retail industry, which supports 42 million American jobs, is designed to encourage retail’s active participation in the elections. “With an election largely centered on the economy and jobs, it’s important to make sure America’s 3.6 million retailers and their employees know what’s at stake for the industry,” says NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retail supports one in four American jobs, generates a quarter of GDP, and is at the foundation of the consumer-based economy.”
“Retail Means Votes seeks to increase the retail industry’s presence and participation on the campaign trail, and beyond,” Shay continues. “It is one piece of NRF’s efforts to frame the national debate around retail’s pro-jobs, pro-growth agenda, and drive candidates’ attention to the retail industry’s public policy priorities and their effect on the economy.”
The Retail Means Votes website includes a suite of voter tools and resources, including candidate biographies, links to campaign websites, the latest in election-related news, and information on how to register to vote, apply for an absentee ballot, or locate a polling site; non-partisan voter guides that compare presidential and U.S. Senate candidates’ positions on six retail priorities, such as health care, labor, sales tax fairness, swipe fees, tax reform and trade; and key vote tallies, and suggested questions that retailers can pose to candidates during debates, town hall meetings, and other events on the campaign trail.
“These resources will equip retailers and their employees with a firm understanding of retail’s public policy priorities – be it combating micro-unions, fighting for sales tax fairness, or reducing swipe fees – and help put the election into context,” said Shay. ”Our goal for Retail Means Votes is simple,” said Shay. “We want candidates to know where the retail industry stands on the critical issues of the day, and we want voters to be thinking about retail’s agenda and priorities on Election Day.”