Sacramento, CA – November 16, 2020 – California Retailers Association President Rachel Michelin issued the following statement in response to the latest round of statewide closures and tightening of restrictions within California’s tiered system known as the Blue Print for a Safer Economy.
“As the association representing all aspects of retail in our state, we recognize it is imperative that we as Californians continue to follow the latest health and safety guidelines issued statewide and nationally despite growing COVID-19 fatigue and resentment. California’s retail industry’s top priority is ensuring the health, safety and well being of employees and customers.
That said, the vast majority of cases, we are being told, by statewide and numerous county health officials are coming from social gatherings- not businesses being open.
Yesterday’s Associated Press story quoted Solano County Public Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas attributing the vast majority of their cases tracing back to casual gatherings. “We’ve had no clusters we can attribute to restaurants, to gyms, to retail shopping, to any of those facilities,” Matyas said. “Because they have licensure on the line, they do a good job of enforcing social distancing.”
While we continue to work with the Governor’s office to get clarity on the data that justifies this latest round of restrictions, CRA urges everyone visiting retail stores during the busier holiday season to follow current CDC guidelines: wear a mask, maintain physical distance of at least six feet from others, repeatedly wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds and keep hand sanitizer with you at all times. These mandates are for everyone’s benefit.
CRA has developed a number of Safe Shopping best practices that we continue to share with retailers large and small as well as consumers to protect from the spread of COVID-19. The association will soon be launching a Safe Shopping For All holiday video outlining these best practices as we also continue to collect Safe Shopping commitments from retailers, chambers of commerce and other businesses throughout the state. It is imperative that we continue to protect the health and viability of not only each other, but our economy.”
The California Retailers Association is the only statewide trade association representing all segments of the retail industry including general merchandise, department stores, on-line marketplaces, mass merchandisers, restaurants, convenience stores, supermarkets and grocery stores, chain drug, and specialty retail such as auto, vision, jewelry, hardware and home stores. CRA works on behalf of California’s retail industry, which, prior to the pandemic, operated over 418,840 retail establishments with a gross domestic product of $330 billion annually and employed 3,211,805 people—one fourth of California’s total employment. The state of California collected $48.5 billion in revenue from retail sales and use taxes, representing more than 25% of the state revenue. For more information, go to www.calretailers.com.