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COVID-19 Impact

  • May 28, 2020 1:25 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    The Missouri WIC program will continue to honor WIC-approved food substitutions for milk, eggs, bread, peanut butter, and infant fruit and vegetables through July 31, 2020, at a minimum, if WIC-approved stock is not available at the store at the time of the WIC transaction.

    (See the details on these WIC food substitutions HERE)

    Due to the unpredictable nature of COVID-19 impacts, WIC-approved food availability is continuously being evaluated.

    The WIC program will provide additional information on June 30, 2020, regarding the possibility of continuing to allow some or all of these food substitutions to continue after July 31, 2020, based upon ongoing evaluation of WIC-approved food item availability. Providing notification to retailers, local agencies, and participants by no later than June 30, 2020, will provide a minimum of one month to make any adjustments, if needed.

    -Bridgett Henderson
    WIC Retailer Manager

  • May 28, 2020 1:15 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    People who had contact with someone infected with COVID-19 may receive a text message from the Department of Health, telling them they'll get a call from a specific number. The tracer who calls will not ask for personal information, like a Social Security number. At the end of the call, some may ask if the contact would like to enroll in a text message program, which sends daily health and safety reminders until the 14-day quarantine ends. But tracers won't ask for money or other personal information like your bank account or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.

    Scammers, pretending to be contact tracers and taking advantage of how the process works, are also sending text messages. These scam messages ask the receiver to click a link. Please alert your employees, and tell them not to take the bait. Clicking the link will download software giving scammers access to personal information.

    Click here to read the Federal Trade Commission's notice about the text message scam and get more information on filtering unwanted text messages.

  • May 28, 2020 1:13 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    Congress has been mulling a number of changes to the Paycheck Protection Program in response from borrowers who have growing concerns that they will not be able to spend the loan funds quickly enough.

    The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, H.R. 6886, introduced by Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Dean Phillips (D-MN) would expand the 8-week window to use loan funds to 24 weeks, while also eliminating the requirement that at least 75 percent of loan funds be used for payroll expenses in order to be eligible for forgiveness.

    Meanwhile, two bills focused on changes to PPP have been introduced in the Senate. Yesterday, Sens. Rubio (R-FL), Cardin (D-MD), Collins (R-ME), and Shaheen (D-NH) sponsored the PPP Extension Act, which would extend the window to 16 weeks, and allow borrowers to use loan funds for PPE and other protective items.

    Today, another group of senators introduced a Senate companion to the House bill, in hopes that the legislation can move quickly through both chambers. However, the Senate has adjourned until the end of May, likely delaying passage of either bills until next month unless no senator objects and the legislation can be passed by unanimous consent next week.

  • May 28, 2020 1:12 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    The committee, chaired by Rep. Mike Haffner and Sen. Justin Crown, will meet Thursday, May 28th to discuss the safety of production line workers for slaughter facilities and how disruptions in production have impacted the Missouri cattle industry. MGA State Director Dan Shaul will be involved in the discussion from the grocery industry perspective.

    You can view the full story here.

  • May 28, 2020 1:11 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    The Missouri Legislative Session came to a close at 6 PM on Friday, May 15th. No different than the rest of the world, the session was interrupted by the Covid-19 outbreak and was anything but an ordinary session. As session began in January, the state of Missouri was experiencing record-low unemployment and a booming economy. Come mid-session things began to look completely different, and as law makers made their way back to the Capitol in late March, attention had shifted to ensuring the state had a balanced budget and legislation focused on Covid-19 response and ensuring our state is in the best possible position for economic recovery. Below are a few positive issues for Missouri's businesses.

    Senate Bill 591 will stop abuse of the state's punitive damage system. The system was originally designed as a way to punish and deter a small number of defendants who demonstrated the worst type of conduct. In today's political climate, Missouri's punitive damage system is often used to Pressure businesses into agreeing to large payments. Especially at a time when we begin recovery from Covid-19, these reforms will allow our businesses some stress relief from burdensome legal regulations and help set the stage for a stronger recovery.

    House Bill 2046 makes changes to the state's occupational licensing laws, allowing skilled professionals who are already licensed in another state to come to Missouri and enter the workforce. The legislation also enhances apprenticeships in the state by making it possible for apprentices to obtain industry licenses as part of an apprenticeship. In addition, it establishes the Fresh Start Act, which defends the right of Missourians who have been formerly convicted of crimes to find work, a step that I believe is key during the path to rehabilitation and re-entry into society.

    Wayfair continues to be a priority issue for Missouri businesses and the grocery industry. While some discussion was had over the last week in the Senate, no legislation made it across the finish line. There is a slight possibility this issue may be brought up in a special session later this summer. Any special session would be at the discretion of Governor Parson. Wayfair will continue to be a top priority for the MGA.

    You can find a full list of all legislation sent to Governor Parson and his actions here.

  • May 21, 2020 1:01 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    "When a grocery store was forced to close its signature salad bar to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, some of its employees got creative and built an alcohol display in its wake.

    Manchester, Missouri's Dierbergs Market store director Rick Rodemacher said, "We had originally put out other fresh foods, but it didn't go over so well because everyone's been stressed out," A group of the employees were talking and we thought we could make good use of the empty space and make people smile if we swapped out the salad bar for one that serves alcohol." The display, which includes mini bottles and different kinds of craft beer as well as a sign with the "salad" in salad bar crossed out, worked!

    This story has gained national attention, trended on Twitter and TikTok, it has even appear in a "Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" joke Wednesday night.

    Rodemacher says customers are "getting a kick out of it" and have walked by smirking and telling employees it's a "good idea."

    To see pictures or read this entire article click HERE

  • May 21, 2020 1:00 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    Consumers stripped supermarket operators' shelves bare of many paper products and household cleaning supplies during the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, and retailers and suppliers have been scrambling to keep up with demand ever since.

    For the eight-week span through April 25, year-over-year sales of all household care items rose 45.6% across U.S. retail channels, according to Nielsen. That included gains of 245.2% for aerosol disinfectants; 229.2% for hand sanitizer; and 145.9% for multipurpose cleaner wet wipes. View the full story HERE.

  • May 21, 2020 12:56 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    Late Friday night, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released its PPP loan forgiveness application. To apply for PPP loan forgiveness, borrowers must complete this application and submit to their lenders. Lenders may also have a portal to complete the application electronically, so be sure to contact your lender before filling out the document. The application form consists of four parts: (1) the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form; (2) the PPP Schedule A; (3) the PPP Schedule A Worksheet; and (4) the optional PPP Borrower Demographic Information Form.

    You can view and download the application here.

  • May 21, 2020 12:55 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    The pandemic has driven huge sales for grocers, but new data and industry sources say the spikes have been uneven and constantly changing, driven initially by the rush to stock up and now governed by new shopping patterns that reflect social distancing measures and spending of stimulus checks. As the economy starts to reopen in many places, what some observers are calling the "new abnormal" will likely alter the shopping landscape again, forcing grocers to pay close attention to new trends and be nimble in their responses.

    You can read the full story here.

  • May 21, 2020 12:53 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    Take action today to urge your representative to support H.R. 6841, the AG CHAIN Act. This bipartisan bill, sponsored by Rep. G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and Dwight Evans (D-PA), would recognize the heroes serving at the frontlines of the food and agriculture industry by extending income and payroll tax relief for income earned during the public health emergency.

    These dedicated and talented men and women are working tirelessly to ensure that our food supply chain continues to operate for the benefit of all Americans. The AG CHAIN Act honors our supermarket superheroes and will help boost the income of workers that show up for work every day.

    Please click here to urge your representative to cosponsor the AG CHAIN act.

The Missouri Grocers Association315 N Ken Ave, Springfield, MO 65802 | Phone: 417-831-6667 | Fax: 417-831-3907

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