Policy Matters

Image shows three chests of drawers
Doug Clark
New recalls remind retailers of tip-over hazards

Two bedroom chests sold exclusively by online vendors have been recalled, the Consumer Products Safety Commission announced this month. The agency said the units are unstable and can tip over unless they are anchored to a wall. On May 6, CPSC announced the recall of four-drawer chests made by Prepac

image shows the interior of a furniture store
Doug Clark
HFA seeks more help for furniture retailers

The Home Furnishings Association has asked congressional leaders to provide more help for furniture retail businesses. “Most of our members closed their stores for weeks and experienced steep financial losses as a result,” HFA CEO Sharron Bradley said in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader

image shows a courtroom
Doug Clark
HFA asks for liability protection as stores reopen

Furniture retailers would love to see customers lined up at their front doors when they reopen after weathering the public health crisis. Attorney Pascal Benyamini warned of a different possibility in a Home Furnishings Association webinar May 7. “If you start on the wrong foot, by not showing that you’re

Image shows a man sitting in an office
Doug Clark
New initiative would improve PPP for furniture retailers

A month ago, the Home Furnishings Association wrote to key leaders in Washington, D.C., asking for improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program. It is the primary lending initiative for small businesses, but some of its provisions make it less helpful to furniture retailers than it should be. Now, help may

image shows a government building
Doug Clark
Treasury official hears HFA members’ concerns

Business lending programs are badly flawed, Home Furnishings Association members told an official with the U.S. Treasury Department in a conference call May 5. Howard Haimsohn, owner of Lawrance Furniture in San Diego, said he was anxious while he waited for a Paycheck Protection Program loan and is equally anxious

Image shows a government office building
Doug Clark
Recalling employees could lead to conflicts

The owners of a furniture store in a Midwestern state furloughed most of their 15 employees after their governor issued stay-at-home orders several weeks ago. Now, ready to reopen, they’re calling them back. Some aren’t ready to come. One is caring for a child who’s out of school for the

Image shows a government building with tall columns
Doug Clark
IRS explains how to file for owed QIP deductions

The Home Furnishings Association and other trade groups pushed hard for an important tax fix all through 2019. It was finally included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act because it can give furniture stores, grocery stores, restaurants, hotels and other retail businesses a financial boost. President Donald

Image shows a dresser
Doug Clark
CPSC announces more furniture recalls

The Consumer Products Safety Commission continues to issue recall notices. But it states, “Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding COVID-19, some of the remedies identified in recall press releases may not be available at this time.” If not, the agency recommends that consumers stop using the identified products. Southern Motion

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

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