Policy Matters

Robert Bell
HR experts answer members’ HR questions

HFA executive vice president Mark Schumacher spoke with HR experts Erick Becker of Cummins & White, LLP, and Eric Martin of ACG Consulting Services, Inc. on March 27 about pressing HR-related concerns HFA members are facing during the coronavirus pandemic. Retailers were invited to ask questions related to their businesses.

Image shows the Capitol dome
Doug Clark
Tell Washington that businesses need cash-flow help

As furniture stores and other businesses begin to close their doors in some parts of the country, Congress and the administration are moving to help. Retailers should tell their representatives to include help with cash-flow disruptions. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act early on

photo shows people with the Capitol in the background
Doug Clark
HFA cancels Fly-in but steps up government relations work

The Washington Fly-in is off, but the Home Furnishings Association will step up its government relations work. The reason for both is the same – the spread of COVID-19. HFA’s Government Relations Action Team decided during a conference call March 11 to cancel the Washington Fly-in. The event, which had

Photo shows four people in a house
Doug Clark
Dramatic tip-over video and latest recalls demand attention

More bedroom chests sold by online retailers and in IKEA stores have been recalled because of “serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in death or injuries to children,” the Consumer Products Safety Commission announced Feb. 26 and March 4. In a related development, KGET television in Bakersfield, Calif.,

Photo shows people meeting at a conference table
Doug Clark
GovRel Update: Retailers must plan for COVID-19 spread

Before anyone heard of the novel coronavirus that causes the disease now called COVID-19, Terri Johnson had a plan. Every business should, said Johnson, the director of occupational health and safety for WS Badcock Corp. in Mulberry, Fla. “Obviously, we should plan for the worst and hope for the best,”

Photo shows sen. pat toomey
Doug Clark
New Senate bill would help furniture retailers

A new Senate bill would promote investment in retail furniture stores and other businesses. The Accelerate Long-term Investment Growth Now Act, or ALIGN Act, was introduced Feb. 13 by U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Toomey was the original co-sponsor last year of S. 803, the Restoring Investment in Improvements Act.

photo shows a man in an office making a phone call
Doug Clark
HFA asks for clarity on rules for business calls

A law meant to protect the public from unwanted telephone calls could block furniture retailers from reminding customers about a delivery or some other service. It is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a nearly 30-year-old law that has been updated by the Federal Communications Commission. Unfortunately, the current definition of

Photo shows a woman at a white board
Doug Clark
Shifting sales-tax laws confuse many retailers

If you ask John Gebhardt whether he’s figured out all the sales-and-use-tax protocols for jurisdictions where customers of Sheffield Furniture & Interiors live, he’ll answer quickly. “No. The rules are changing, and it’s confusing.” Gebhardt handles accounting and human resources for Severegn Furniture Management, which owns Sheffield. The retailer, a

Tablet with AR Technology
Doug Clark
Washington State privacy act earns retailer support

A data privacy bill gathering support in the Washington State Senate protects the interests of consumers and retailers, according to the Washington Retail Association. The measure is SB 6281. Its primary sponsor is Sen. Reuven Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat who chairs the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee.  Mark Johnson,

Photos shows people at trade forum
Doug Clark
China deal marks good step, some HFA members say

The Phase One trade deal with China announced Dec. 13 marked a step in the right direction. That’s one assessment from members of the Home Furnishings Association’s Government Relations Action Team. Others were less positive, and most are waiting to see further developments. The HFA as a whole has not

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