Retail Group Applauds New Stimulus Deal

The National Retail Federation lauded Congress for passing new economic aid to consumers during the ongoing pandemic and winter holiday retail season. The $900 billion Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 provides for an immediate $600 payment to most Americans, in addition to $300 to the unemployed, and millions for small businesses and independent movie theater operators.

“Retailers are encouraged by the passage of this economic relief package that will keep the economy open and moving in the right direction as the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic continues,” CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

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The trade group’s November retail sales report showed that consumers held back on spending, and more robust government stimulus was needed to shore up the economy and the retail industry, which creates employment for 52 million Americans.

The NRF has forecast that holiday sales will increase between 3.6% and 5.2% over 2019 to a total between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion — with 27% of holiday shoppers seeking packaged media entertainment.

“The retail industry has invested billions of dollars throughout the pandemic to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers,” Shay said. “Our hope is this latest stimulus will be a down payment on economic relief next year.”