59th Annual Meeting – Retailer of the Year

 Illinois Retail Merchants Association honors Darvin Furniture as Retailer of the Year

CHICAGO—The Illinois Retailers Merchants Association is proud to announce that Darvin Furniture is the 2016 Illinois Retailer of the Year. Darvin, a third-generation family-owned furniture store in Orland Park, was selected for the award due to their success in the industry, their innovation meeting consumer desires and their dedication to the community and employees that they serve.

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Darvin Furniture as Retailer of the Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 12, 2016

CONTACT:   Rachel Peabody, 217-753-1761

rachel@macstrategiesgroup.com

PRESS RELEASE

 Illinois Retail Merchants Association honors Darvin Furniture as Retailer of the Year

 

CHICAGO—The Illinois Retailers Merchants Association is proud to announce that Darvin Furniture is the 2016 Illinois Retailer of the Year. Darvin, a third-generation family-owned furniture store in Orland Park, was selected for the award due to their success in the industry, their innovation meeting consumer desires and their dedication to the community and employees that they serve.

Continue reading “Darvin Furniture as Retailer of the Year”

Illinois Upgrades Driver’s License & ID Cards

MEMBER NEWS UPDATE

 

ESPECIALLY pertinent TO RETAILERS WHO REQUEST OR REQUIRE PROOF OF IDENTIFICATION FOR ENTRY OR PURCHASE  

 

Illinois Upgrades Driver’s License and ID Card which Changes the Issuance Process

All information below has been forwarded directly from the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State

 

Overview: Illinois has moved closer to achieving full REAL ID compliance, which is a federal mandate by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) is introducing a new, highly secure driver’s license and ID card (DL/ID) and is changing the overall issuance process. These changes benefit the public in that they provide better fraud and identity theft prevention.

What has Changed: The SOS has moved from over-the-counter issuance to central issuance by using a centralized manufacturing facility to produce the DL/IDs. This new process allows the SOS to comply with many U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Real ID requirements. In addition, the changes increase the security of the card by adding new features to deter counterfeits and to help protect you from identity theft.

  • Instead of leaving the driver services facility with your final DL/ID in hand, SOS staff will provide you with a temporary secure paper DL/ID to be used until your new card arrives in the mail. If you are renewing your DL/ID, the SOS will return your old DL/ID back to you after punching a hole in it. Facility wait times will decrease as the temporary DL/IDs print immediately, whereas the former permanent DL/IDs took a few minutes to print.

When will it start: The office will begin centrally issuing Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses and Safe Driver Renewals with the new design in the middle of May. Then, the SOS will begin transitioning its Driver Services facilities to central issuance. All driver services facilities will be utilizing central issuance by the end of July 2016.

Will bars/restaurants, banks, retail stores, etc., accept the temporary document as a proof of identification: 

The SOS has conducted an educational campaign for law enforcement, businesses, agencies and other groups who regularly review customer’s driver’s license and identification cards. These groups have been informed of the changes and the purpose of the temporary secure paper DL/IDs. It is, however, up to the management of each establishment to determine whether or not they will accept a temporary DL/ID as a valid identity document. According to experts in the industry, in other states that have implemented central issuance, businesses became comfortable with the temporary secure paper DL/IDs and readily accept them after a short transition period. If a business, restaurant or other retail establishment has questions regarding their ability to accept or decline temporary ID cards as a valid form of identification, please contact the Department of Illinois State Police directly: Lt. Thomas Chandler or Cpt. Dave Allen at 217-782-7126.

For answers to more questions, please visit this link.

For an informational brochure, please visit this link.

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact IRMA 312-726-4600.

 

Illinois Retailers Oppose Funded Paid Sick Leave

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

  April 3, 2016                                                                                                        CONTACT

                                                                                                                                                                                       Ryan McLaughlin, 312-969-0255

ryan@macstrategiesgroup.com

ILLINOIS RETAILERS AND CHICAGOLAND CHAMBER OPPOSE REPORT

RECOMMENDING EMPLOYER-FUNDED PAID SICK LEAVE

Chicago employers reeling from two years of consistent mandates and tax increases from City Hall

CHICAGO – Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce have issued the following statement regarding Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “Working Families Working Group” recommendations:

“Businesses are at a tipping point and these proposals will only exacerbate the problems facing employees looking for more hours and higher wages. We cannot provide the jobs, pay the wages and invest in local communities while City Hall layers on one cost after another and chases sales out of the City. These policies will not result in more jobs being created or higher wages – just the opposite. City Hall needs to remember that the overwhelming majority of Chicago’s business owners are working families too,” said Rob Karr, president/CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

“Young people looking for first jobs to gain valuable experience in the workforce are some of the unintended casualties of these types of unaffordable mandates. Teen unemployment will absolutely worsen when employers have fewer dollars to budget for salaries. UIC’s Great Cities Institute published a recent report detailing extraordinarily high levels of unemployment in minority communities: 88 percent of African Americans and 85 percent of Latinos ages 16-19 years old were jobless in 2014. Arbitrary regulations imposed on businesses are one of the causes for this lack of opportunity,” said Theresa E. Mintle, president/CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

In conjunction with the release of the working group’s skewed report, IRMA and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce have released findings from actual job creators who represent businesses that operate every day. The report titled “The Dissent: The Business Perspective on the Effects of Another Mandate on Employers”states the cumulative effect of 14 months of government mandates will not help people get back to work and only continues to weaken Chicago’s economic future. Specifically, the dissenting opinion piece highlights:

    • Employers will respond to a Chicago-only paid sick leave mandate by increasing prices, decreasing employee benefits and hours, limiting expansion, possible cuts to labor, more extensive use of technology, and likely reductions in employee headcounts over time.
    • Communities already suffering from lack of development will see their challenges increase as labor mandates continue, and businesses on the City borders will face further and very real competition from neighboring jurisdictions that offer lower taxes, higher incentives, and no costly labor mandates.
    • The consequences of higher labor costs will adversely impact employers, employees, and all consumers.
    • The Chicagoland Chamber and IRMA disagree with the notion that paid sick leave has a minimal impact. Everything has a cost, and the cost of a Chicago-only paid sick leave mandate is added onto the growing list of government intrusion into business operations.
    • Instead of continuing to intrude with ill-conceived labor policies, focusing and investing in training workers and the unemployed to compete for the higher paying jobs of today and the future is the single best way to achieve the goals of the working group.

 

IRMA and the Chamber also cite examples of City Hall mandates impacting hiring and business sustainability:

    • City of Chicago-only $588 million property tax increase that disproportionately burdens the business community. Employers will not receive assistance or tax breaks. In fact, the Mayor is seeking to advance legislation in Springfield to exempt many homeowners from the increase which would place even more of the burden on the employer community.
    • City of Chicago-only starting wage ordinance, which increased labor costs for employers to $13 per hour for each employee by 2019.
    • Cook County sales tax increase that took effect January 1 and increases the rate from .75 percent to 1.75 percent. This increases Chicago’s total sales tax from 9.25 percent to 10.25 percent (and higher in the McPier District), earning Chicago the title of the highest sales tax rate in the nation.
    • City of Chicago-only plastic bag “ban” ordinance. The ban took effect in August 2015 and has been a significant cost to retailers.
    • City of Chicago-only ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products (including menthol) within 500 feet of a school resulting in lost sales with no measureable benefit.

 

To read the entire dissenting opinion from IRMA and the Chamber, please click here.

About the Illinois Retail Merchants Association

One of the largest state retail organizations in the United States, IRMA serves as the voice of retailing and the business community in state government. Founded in 1957, IRMA represents more than 23,000 stores of all sizes and merchandise lines. From the nation’s largest retailers to independent businesses in every corner of the State, merchants count on IRMA to fight for the best possible environment in which to do business in Illinois.

About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce represents over 1,000 member companies, their 400,000 employees, and over $24 billion in revenue. We combine the power of our membership with our legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy. We focus on delivering value for our members, making

Chicagoland a world-class place to live and work. Visit Chicagoland Chamber.org.

 

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Tanya Triche, IRMA’s General Counsel speaks at the Chicago’s Proposal to Mandate Minimum Prices on Tobacco Products Press Conference

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CONTACT:  Matt Butterfield, 312-545-5058
matt@macstrategiesgroup.com

 

ALDERMEN, BUSINESS OWNERS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS RALLY AGAINST CITY’S PROPOSAL TO MANDATE MINIMUM PRICES ON TOBACCO PRODUCTS
Convergence of increased tobacco taxes, sales taxes and property taxes driving
businesses to the breaking point

 

CHICAGO—Dozens of neighborhood small business owners are opposing the City of Chicago’s unprecedented overreach into the free market in Illinois by proposing to mandate the minimum price of tobacco products, paired with an effort to raise another $6 million through additional taxes on cigars and smokeless tobacco as well as increase the age to purchase from 18 to 21. Under the mandate, all brands of cigarettes would be priced at a minimum of $11.50, plus making them ineligible for coupons or promotional specials.

“Where will this stop?” asked Rob Karr, president and CEO of IRMA. “Do consumers really want city government setting minimum prices for products? Do they really want city government taking away coupons? Chicago already has the highest tobacco taxes and the highest sales taxes in the nation, and amazingly, they still want more. Plus we’re on the heels of the historic property tax increase they just imposed. There is a breaking point, and local business owners tell IRMA again and again they will not survive in the city.”

“We need our police officers focusing on violent crime in our community, not on low-level offenses created by misguided tax policies,” said Alderman Jason Ervin. “I urge my colleagues to consider examples like New York state where 57 percent of cigarettes are purchased unstamped on the black market due to high prices caused by significant taxes. Chicago is experiencing the same trajectory now and the ordinance before us substitutes yet another tax increase for the real solution of education, job training, and creating opportunities.”

Pastor Roosevelt Watkins III, of Bethlehem Star M.B. Church, added, “The mayor’s current proposal would have a negative ripple effect that would increase gang crime, further aggravate police and community relations, and strip opportunity from struggling young people with tremendous odds already stacked against them. Until we can stop driving employers out of the neighborhoods, people will continue to be impacted by the high unemployment rate and a worsening crime problem on our streets. Chicago cannot afford to cement its underprivileged to a permanent underclass.”

“I understand that the city is searching for revenue to keep-up with spending, but tobacco products have been unfairly targeted,” said Jim Bayci, a 7-Eleven franchisee in the Loop. “Beyond having the highest tobacco tax in the nation, Chicago banned the sale of menthol cigarettes in many neighborhood stores, electronic vaping products were recently attacked with the highest rates in the country, and now the City Council is considering minimum prices and massive taxes to the remaining products such as cigars and smokeless tobacco. When I lose tobacco customers to bordering communities, I also lose the associated sale of beverages, snacks and other items. It’s a huge hit to 7-Eleven franchise owners across the city.”

Tanya Triche, general counsel for IRMA, says it’s not all about taxes, and she’s equally concerned by the precedent of minimum pricing. “Having the city mandate minimum prices while banning any specials, discounts and coupons is a slippery slope. Anyone can see how this is just a start—the city could eventually take away coupons and other discounts for products they deem unhealthy such as soda, snacks, or certain kinds of milk and bread. Consumers should be justifiably concerned.”

About the Illinois Retail Merchants Association
One of the largest state retail organizations in the United States, IRMA serves as the voice of retailing and the business community in state government. Founded in 1957, IRMA represents more than 23,000 stores of all sizes and merchandise lines. From the nation’s largest retailers to independent businesses in every corner of the state, merchants count on IRMA to fight for the best possible environment in which to do business in Illinois.

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