WASHINGTON, DC – Small business retail owners were recognized at the National Retail Federation’s Retail Advocates Summit this week for their engagement in grassroots and advocacy efforts on local, state and federal issues affecting the retail industry.
As part of the event, NRF named Erin Calvo-Bacci, owner of The Chocolate Truffle and Bacci Chocolate Design in Reading and Swampscott, America’s Retail Champion of the Year Tuesday night for her advocacy on behalf of the industry.
“Working to advance the retail industry’s public policy priorities on Capitol Hill and beyond the beltway is a top priority,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This week we have the opportunity to bring retailers from all over the country together in Washington and we are thrilled to recognize the industry’s leading advocates as America’s Retail Champions.”
“We need people like Erin to make sure the industry’s message is heard and understood – she knows first-hand that what happens in Washington impacts her ability to do business,” Shay said. “Erin is an effective retail spokeswoman who works hard on grassroots efforts and engages in a wide range of public policy discussions. She is an industry leader who truly makes a difference.”
The America’s Retail Champions program, now in its second year, honors retailers who make their mark on public policy debates. More than 100 retailers from across the nation from online sellers to mid-size and small retail store owners were nominated by state retail associations, small business retailers and their peers based on their engagement in public policy discussions on issues ranging from patent reform and online sales tax to data security and labor policy.
Calvo-Bacci was chosen from five finalists who included Marc Sherman of Stowe Mercantile in Stowe, Vt.; Michael Thompson of Thompson Pool and Patio in Norman, Okla.; Tina Wilcoxson of Royal River Naturalood in Freeport, Maine, and George Wilder of The Locker Room in Montgomery, Ala.
"This means a great deal to me because I am very passionate about getting involved in this industry and to really want to make a difference," said Calvo-Bacci. "All of us retailers here tonight are the ones who are going to make changes, we are all here to be the change for our industry."
NRF’s Retail Across America team will head to New England next month to recognize Calvo-Bacci as part of the organization’s This Is Retail campaign. NRF will work with the state retail associations in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, and Vermont to produce a documentary series highlighting retail’s positive impact on careers, communities and innovation. The series has previously highlighted retail’s impact in North Carolina, South Dakota, Washington, Ohio, California, Illinois, Texas, Kentucky and Nevada.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.