The NRF tells Congress to get back to work
The National Retail Federation (NRF) sent a letter to congressional leaders Oct. 9 urging the government to end its ongoing shutdown with a continuing resolution.
“We strongly support passage of both a continuing resolution to provide for funding of the federal government into the next fiscal year and a measure to raise the nation’s debt ceiling,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in the letter.
In the letter, Shay stressed that the government shutdown has already taken its toll on consumer spending and consumer confidence, highlighting a recent Gallup poll demonstrating that consumer confidence is at its lowest since the 2008 collapse. In addition, he pointed to the lack of economic data, as well as absence of the FCC and Customs and Border Protection.
“For retailers – who represent the sector of the American economy most closely tied to consumer attitudes – these numbers are deeply disturbing,” Shay said. “Moreover, since the very modest growth the U.S. economy has experienced following the 2008 recession has been attributed to the willingness of the American consumer to keep shopping, a lasting decline in consumer confidence is likely to translate into increased unemployment and slower growth in coming months.”
“Washington can’t keep governing from crisis to crisis and quarter to quarter. Kicking the can down the road may be the norm these days in Washington, but it is an irresponsible approach to the problems confronting our nation. …We need leadership from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue on the key issues facing our country, particularly policies that put the economy on a firm footing for long-term growth.”
“It’s time for Congress to get our government back to work – and time for Congress itself to get back to work on building a strong, stable national economy that will restore the United States to its rightful place as the leader of the global economy," he concluded.
The NRF plans to continue coordinating efforts to pressure the government to reopen, and will be working closely with retailers, small business owners and grassroots advocates.
Home Depot wins WaterSense honors
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named The Home Depot as its 2013 WaterSense Retail Partner of the Year award.
"All of our WaterSense partners have taken steps to reduce our nation’s water use, but several stood out in 2012 for their commitment to the WaterSense program and collaborative efforts to promote WaterSense-labeled products, new homes and outreach and educational programs," said EPA’s acting assistant administrator for water, Nancy Stoner. "We are pleased to honor The Home Depot for their efforts that support our mission to protect the future of our nation’s water supply."
"The Home Depot is committed to conducting business in an environmentally responsible manner through its stores and suppliers," added Home Depot’s VP Environmental Ron Jarvis. "We are honored to win the WaterSense Partner of the Year Award for 2013. The Home Depot was the first major retailer to sell only WaterSense-labeled lavatory faucets, and we now sell WaterSense-labeled products in our nearly 2,000 retail locations across the United States."
The honor was announced during the WaterSamrt Innovations Conference on Oct. 10.