Dec 22/Jan 23 Michigan Retailer

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Plus Ask Us First: Questions of the Year Member Benefits for non-retailers ‘Tis the season to renew your membership DEC. 2022/JAN. 2023 The official publication of Michigan Retailers Association VOL.47 NO. 6

FROM THE CEO

Lately, in an effort to clean up my email inbox, I’ve been on an unsubscribe mission. Perhaps it started with the endless torrent of out-of-state political emails or the unsolicited offers from companies I’ve never heard of. In any event, I hit my limit.

However, as satisfying as it is to cut the cord on every email that does not directly impact MRA operations, I’m careful to allow relevant industry information to continue to fill my inbox (even if I can’t read all of them).

As a membership organization, Michigan Retailers Association sends a lot of email and I’m guessing we’ve all deleted many emails without even opening them. Time is our most precious commodity, and we recognize that not all of our communications are applicable to your business. But, there is one email we’d like you to spend a moment on, our monthly Michigan Retail Index survey.

Each month, we survey our membership to gauge the pulse of the retail industry. We want to know how your sales were, whether you see them increasing over the next three months, and hear about the challenges you’re facing.

As the voice of the industry, our job is to advocate for you. We want to tell your story - the good, the bad, and everything in between. Reporters call us on a weekly basis so they can write about retail. To be your best advocate, we need to hear from you. The Retail Index survey takes less than two minutes to complete and it provides us with essential data.

So yes, this column is a call to action. Your voice makes the industry stronger. Thank you for dedicating a couple minutes each month to tell us your story.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Bill Golden Chair

Golden Shoes, Traverse City

William J. Hallan

President & CEO

Michigan Retailers Association

Bryan Neiman Vice Chair

Neiman’s Family Market, St. Clair

Peter R. Sobelton

Treasurer

Mondial Properties, Birmingham

Bo Brines Past Chair

Little Forks Outfitters, Midland

Kim Edsenga Meijer, Inc., Grand Rapids

Becky Beauchine Kulka Becky Beauchine Kulka Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, Okemos

Dan Marshall Marshall Music Company, Lansing Orin Mazzoni, Jr. Orin Jewelers, Northville

Joseph McCurry Credit Card Group

Raeann Rouse Bridge Street Baby, Rockford

Thomas Ungrodt

TDU Consulting, LLC, Ann Arbor

Larry Meyer Board Member Emeritus

D. Larry Sherman Board Member Emeritus

MICHIGAN RETAILERS SERVICES, INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Michigan Retailer (USPS 345-780, ISSN 08890439) is published six times annually: February, April, June, August, October, & December by Michigan Retailers Association. Average circulation: 4308.

603 South Washington Avenue Lansing, Michigan 48933

Periodical postage paid at Lansing, Michigan

Postmaster: Send address changes to 603 South Washington Ave., Lansing MI 48933. This publiction

MICHIGAN RETAILER

With every issue, we reach retail owners, managers, and executives who make spending decisions for 15,000 stores and web sites across the state. To request a media kit, email Rachel Schrauben at rschrauben@retailers.com

2 | Michigan Retailer
William J. Hallan President & CEO Rachel Hurst Kroger Co. of Michigan, Novi John Leppink Leppink’s Food Centers, Belding Kendra Patterson Michigan Barn Wood & Salvage, Mason Joe Swanson Target, Retired
William J. Hallan Publisher Andrea Bitely Editor Rachel Schrauben Copy Editor and Content Manager Josh Delany Design and Layout Shandra Martinez Contributor Steve Jessmore and Josh Delany Photographers
WILLIAM J. HALLAN President & CEO of Michigan Retailers Association
may be recycled with white office paper.
Use Your Voice For the Good of Retail Scan the QR code to take the latest survey!

From

Michigan Retailer | 3 CONTENTS
THE COVER RETAILERS.COM RETAILERSINSURANCE.COM BUYNEARBYMI.COM Visit us online to see what’s new in the industry and what services we provide members to strengthen your business. 7 Michigan Retail Index Survey Data Take a look at the year in review 5 Clip & Save: Foundation Scholarships Applications accepted starting Jan. 1 8 Spot and Stop Return Fraud Implement these high-level return policies 10 MRA Benefits for Non-Retail Stores We offer member benefits to all types of business 12 Spice Up the Season Take the chill off your winter blues 9 Ask Us First Questions of the Year You asked, we answered 16 Plan Your Year of Orders A list of wholesalers to help you Buy Nearby 23 Happy Holidays from MRA Wishing everyone a joyous season
ON
the CEO Let your voice be heard
Legally Speaking What will be the fate of the Credit Card Competition Act of 2022?
Regulatory Rundown Updates to keep your business in check, including MDARD’s take on food licenses Creative Counsel Know your voice on social media Milestone Members From the Archives New Members FEATURES DEPARTMENTS
“Treat yo’ self.” – Tom and Donna, Parks and Recreation
The Christmas tree stands tall in front of the Michigan State Capitol. Photo by Josh Delany

LEGALLY SPEAKING CREATIVE COUNSEL

Credit Card Competition Act of 2022 Know Your Voice on Social Media

Healthy competition is generally thought to be good for all involved, but not everyone agrees when it comes to recently introduced federal legislation. H.R. 8874, introduced in the United States House of Representatives on September 19, 2022, and S. 4674, introduced in the United States Senate on July 28, 2022 are identical bills known as the Credit Card Competition Act of 2022 (CCCA). The CCCA promotes competition in credit card processing by allowing businesses to choose between multiple networks when running transactions. Additionally, the networks available for a transaction cannot be exclusive to the two largest network providers, currently Visa and Mastercard. The goal is to save money for consumers and business owners by creating competition and thereby reducing interchange fees.

Passage of H.R. 8874, S. 4674, or both, are not a certainty, however. While introduced on a bi-partisan basis, the end of the legislative session is fast approaching and there is opposition. Of course, the largest card networks are opposed. More importantly, there is concern about unintended consequences to the consumer, much like what was seen with the Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act in 2008 capping certain debit transaction interchange rates. The specific concern is that a reduction in fees through forced competition will work against the consumer with an increase in other fees or the elimination of rewards programs. Merchants, on the other hand, are near certain winners. They will be able to choose the lowest interchange rate and decide between retaining those savings or passing them on to the consumer.

While the fate of the CCCA is unclear, we will be watching closely.

Merchant processing costs can be a significant expense. Our experts are committed to providing you with the most cost-effective processing available to maximize your profits. Call 800.366.3699 or email sales@retailers.com to get more information on how we can save you money!

ANDREA BITELY MRA Vice President, Communications and Marketing

Is your business snarky, sweet, or matter-of-fact on social media? Or, none of the above?

Most likely, your social media accounts have taken on the voice of whomever manages them, and that’s perfectly fine. But to stick out from the pack, consider creating a way of speaking that connects with your customers.

More and more, consumers are looking for a brand to speak to them in a way that’s an experience, not just an option for spending their money. Make sure you’re appealing to your potential and current customers by using words and phrases that make them want to come visit you.

Announcing a new product or the return of one that has been unavailable? Don’t be afraid to be excited! Changing your hours or a store policy, state this as a fact. Don’t hide behind a wall of text, come right out and say what’s going on.

To figure out your voice, list out traits and common words you want to take on as a brand.

How to get started:

1. Make sure you get slang right – if you are a Michigan-based brand, don’t get caught saying soda!

2. Use words and photos that will appeal to your audience. Generic memes can get likes, but will they motivate someone to come into your store? Probably not. Photos of happy customers, new products available, or a beautiful shot of your storefront can inspire a visit.

3. Draft canned responses for comments on Messenger: Your hours, where/how to reach you, and your return process. This takes the guesswork out of what to say when you get a question - and ensures that your comments stay on-message and with your designated voice.

Can we help you with social media? We can! My inbox is always open: abitely@retailers.com

4 | Michigan Retailer
Scan to learn more about our credit card processing! Scan to contact Andrea for your social media needs!

Michigan

1. Dependent sons and daughters of owners of MRA member businesses, or of full-time employees of MRA member firms. The parent-employee must have been employed by a MRA member firm for at least one year as of January 1, 2022. 2. Part-time employees of MRA member businesses who are full-time students. Part-time employees must have been employed by a MRA member firm for at least six months as of July 1, 2022.

$3,500 for each award 12 total awards Deadline to apply: April 1, 2023 Application period begins: Jan. 1, 2023 Those eligible to apply
high
seniors
are
school
and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors who are:
Questions? Scan the QR code to learn more and apply today!
Retailers
Key Points to Remember
Scholarship Program
Contact Jim Gohsman
|
or
Delemeester
|
for more information. At SpartanNash, our flagship exclusive brand, Our Family, was developed more than 115 years ago; the oldest and most well-established in the industry. The number one reason for this success and longevity is our commitment to keeping the customer first - listening, responding, performing. 2000+ SKUs currently available throughout the entire store Product quality guarantee for consumers Exclusive marketing support, including industry leading social media solutions Multi-tiered community support program Comprehensive merchandising program Associate engagement plan SCAN HERE  TO LEARN MORE
(1-616-878-8088)
jim.gohsman@spartannash.com
Roger
(1-989-245-0337)
roger.delemeester@spartannash.com

The Michigan Retail Index is a monthly gauge of key retail activity in Michigan and serves as an important indicator of the health of Michigan’s retail sector and the direction of the state’s overall economy.

Each month MRA members are encouraged to complete a short survey and record their

previous month’s sales performance and three-month outlook. The survey is done in cooperation with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Detroit branch.

The Index tracks year-to-year increases or decreases in retail sales, inventory, prices, promotional efforts, and hiring. It also indicates

retailers’ forecasts in these areas for the next three months.

Scan to take the survey and see a detailed breakdown.

*The 100-point Index provides a snapshot of the state’s overall retail industry. Index values above 50 generally indicate positive activity, the higher the number, the stronger the activity.

As the voice of the industry, our job is to advocate for you. We want to tell your story, the good, the bad, and everything in between. Reporters call us on a weekly basis so they can write about retail. To be your best advocate, we need to hear from you. The Retail Index survey takes less than two minutes to complete and it provides us with essential data.

Michigan Retailer | 7
“ “ 0.0 Jan. Feb. March April Current Performance 2022 Performance and Outlook 3-Month Outlook May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. 10.0
20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 80.0

Resolutions For Return Fraud in the

Retailers have been the target of theft since the beginning of time, and return fraud has been around nearly as long. Unfortunately, the bad guys have gotten even more sophisticated and have developed new ways to take advantage of the current business model and environment we live in today.

According to the National Retail Federation, for every $100 returned to a retailer, $10.30 of it was part of a return fraud scheme.

Return fraud is the act of seeking a refund on merchandise that was not purchased at your store for the amount being asked for in a return. Obviously the bad guys are after the cash or goods from a return and are looking to take advantage of a lapse in your asset protection protocols.

Return fraud can happen in a number of ways:

• Returning stolen merchandise –Seeking a refund on something they stole from you or another retailer.

• Pricing arbitrage – Seeking a refund on a previously purchased (from a competitor), lower-priced item that you have for sale at a higher price.

• Price switching – changing/replacing the price tag on an item with a higher price and then seeking a refund.

• Open box fraud - A variation of price switching, someone buys an item, opens the box, returns the item and then re-buys that same item at a discount because it is an “open box” that you offer at a discount.

• Broken item – Buying a new item from you and switching it with an identical item that is broken. A version of this is where the

As a reminder, the 2022 Payment Card Transaction form1099-K will be mailed in January 2023.

Online account access is available for $6 per month. Account access provides transaction and batch detail, deposits sent to the bank account, and monthly statements. Call customer service to activate.

bad guy will buy an item, remove accessories and parts and then return the partial, now non-working item or an empty box.

• Wardrobing – Purchasing an item for short term use (clothing for a special event, etc.) with the intent to return it after the event is over.

While returns are a necessary part of the retail business model, you need to make sure that you have procedures and systems in place to protect your business from return fraud.

Preventing return fraud is a multi-step approach that starts with understanding your business and the frequency of returns within your business. If you see an uptick in returns or a change in the types of items returned, you may be being targeted by the bad guys for return fraud.

You need to have policies in place that help identify and prevent return fraud. All employees should know what the policies are and enforce them.

Here are some high-level policies that will help prevent this type of fraud:

• Only authorized staff can handle a return. This minimizes the opportunity where a “friend” of the sales clerk can work in collusion with a staff member to commit fraud.

• If you sell items that might be candidates for wardrobing, develop a price tag that would prevent someone from wearing the item to an event without removing the tag. When items prone to wardrobing are returned, make sure that they haven’t been worn or used before allowing the return.

• Create a list of serial returners. Make sure that you are tracking the items being returned and who is returning those items. If the same names pop up, develop a policy of only swapping for the same thing or limiting any return to a store credit. If you have a variable policy that includes store credit, make sure that you can track that future purchase and prevent someone from returning an item bought with store credit for a cash refund at a future date.

• Always require ID for a return.

• Always return the money via the same method of payment. Example: If they paid with a credit card, only return the money to that same card.

• Consider having a “no cash refunds” policy. If you only offer store credit, this removes a lot of the incentive and discourages the bad guys from attempting return fraud in your store.

• Establish limits on the time to return something. You could also have a tiered option. (Example: 10 days for a cash refund, 30 days for an in-store credit.)

• Require receipts. As you expect, most return fraud occurs without a receipt. You may want to have a policy of in-store credit only, if someone doesn’t have a receipt.

• If you allow multiple staff members to handle returns, keep track of who handles each return and review that to see if any one person is doing more returns than others. This may be a sign of collusion with a bad guy.

As with other aspects of running a retail store, you need to develop strong procedures and policies that are clear and concise, and then share them with your staff. With these policies in place, you will make yourself less of a target to the bad guys.

8 | Michigan Retailer
One of the nation’s first Certified Payments Professionals designated by the Electronic Transaction Association, John is an MRA consultant and national expert on payment processing.
New Year
Resolutions
STAY ALERT FOR SUSPICIOUS OR FRAUDULENT TRANSACTIONS: • Multiple purchases by the same customer • Multiple credit cards from the same customer • AVS (Address Verification) or V-Code (Security Code) does not match • Shipping to
address than the billing address Contact Customer Service with additional questions. customerservice@retailers.com
CARD CUSTOMER SERVICE TIPS 800.563.5981, option 2.
a different
CREDIT

You Asked, We Answered

MRA’s Questions of the

Year

MRA’s Ask Us First program connects members directly to our team to provide key information to help you stay focused on your business. This year, we had some questions asked multiple times. We’ve listed our most frequently asked questions here for quick reference.

How do I find my EIN?

If you previously applied for and received an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business, but have since misplaced it, try any or all of the following actions to locate the number:

• Find the computer-generated notice that was issued by the IRS when you applied for your EIN. This notice is issued as a confirmation of your application for, and receipt of an EIN.

• If you used your EIN to open a bank account, or apply for any type of state or local license, you should contact the bank or agency to secure your EIN.

• Find a previously filed tax return for your existing entity (if you have filed a return). Your previously filed return should be notated with your EIN.

• Ask the IRS to search for your EIN by calling the Business and Specialty Tax Line at 800.829.4933. The hours of operation are 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday. An assistor will ask you for identifying information and provide the number to you over the telephone, as long as you’re a person who is authorized to receive it. Examples of an authorized person include, but are not limited to, a sole proprietor, a partner in a partnership, a corporate officer, a trustee of a trust, or an executor of an estate.

How do instant rebates work when it comes to sales tax?

When a customer receives an instant rebate provided by a third party, sales tax is calculated according to the original cost of the item. These rules are set by the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Sales of food in Michigan are mostly tax-free unless it is prepared food. If you are selling pre-packaged food items that are not heated or intended for immediate consumption they should not be subject to sales tax. The Michigan Department of Treasury provides more details about when food is taxable at the QR code below:

Scan the QR code to learn more about taxable food products.

Is there a minimum time that someone has to be employed to qualify for unemployment?

The qualifications for unemployment are specific to the individual, not who employed them. It’s based on pay and their income the prior year to calculate if an individual qualifies.

When a claim is filed, Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) checks its wage database to see whether the unemployed worker had sufficient earnings to be entitled to establish a new claim. UIA considers the total wages paid to the unemployed worker in the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. This period is called the base period of the claim. The calendar quarters are 3-month periods that run as follows:

• Quarter 1 – Jan 1 through Mar 31

• Quarter 2 – April 1 through June 30

• Quarter 3 – July 1 through Sept 30

• Quarter 4 – Oct 1 through Dec 31

In some cases, the unemployed worker will not have sufficient wages during the base period to establish a new claim. UIA will then check the wages paid to the unemployed worker in the four most recently completed calendar quarters,

ASK US FIRST

known as the alternate base period. If UIA finds sufficient wages to establish the claim, UIA asks the unemployed worker about the reason he or she was separated from each of the employers in the base period of the claim, and from the most recent employer.

UIA also asks the unemployed worker about his or her dependents. If the unemployed worker disagrees with any of the wage information or about any of the employers we located in our wage database for that unemployed worker, the unemployed worker is asked to correct the information.

What are the current rules for COVID?

All of the governor’s Executive Orders and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Epidemic Orders regarding mask mandates, social distancing, capacity limits, health screening requirements, and mandatory quarantine etc. for retail, including grocery stores, were rescinded in June of 2021. As of this writing (November 2022) there are no protocols in place for retail stores in Michigan. With that being said, retailers are expected to follow all standard MIOSHA rules and guidelines.

What is surcharging?

Credit card surcharging is when a merchant applies an additional, limited, fee to cover transaction costs where a credit card is used. MRA offers a surcharging opportunity to our merchant processing customers, allowing you to keep more of your money in your business.

Scan the QR code to learn more about our surcharge program.

Is pre-packaged food subject to sales tax?
Michigan Retailer | 9

Not a Retailer? Not a Problem.

Dentist? Veterinarian? Chiropractor? Restaurant? Bar? Hotel? Construction?

MRA has benefits for you, too.

Medical and Dental Offices:

MRA has a key partnership with PracticeBridge, a software that allows you to skip the dual entry and manage your billing and payments in one easy to use program.

Contact sales@retailers.com or your MRA representative today to find out how to take advantage of this program.

Food Service or Hospitality:

MRA is one of the most cost-effective credit card processing options on the market, and with our ability to provide surcharging and gift cards, we’ve got you covered. Learn more about surcharging and gift cards today:

Surcharge Program Gift Cards

Construction and Trades:

Safety comes first on a job site, and MRA affiliate, Retailers Insurance Company, offers best-in-class workers’ compensation for construction and home improvement companies.

Learn more by contacting your insurance agent or visit RetailersInsurance.com.

10 | Michigan Retailer
TO ACCELERATE FRESH IN YOUR STORE PLEASE CONTACT: Make the call sooner rather than later to learn how Associated Wholesale Grocers can provide you a lower cost of goods and a real chance to compete in your marketplace today and in the future! Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., 5000 Kansas Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66106 KEITH MARTIN 828-228-4055 keith.martin@ awginc.com DIANE GUERRERO 262-806-1203 diane.guerrero@ awginc.com

Create a Cozy Atmosphere Take the Chill Off Your Winter Blues

We’re all aware of what January in Michigan brings…it’s dark, it’s cold, snow falls, and not many people like to venture far from their fireplace hearth or heated blanket.

As store owners, you’re winding down from the holiday craze. Hopefully, you can take a minute to breathe and relax. But I’m sure you’re questioning:

WHAT CAN I DO TO GET SHOPPERS BACK IN MY STORE DURING MY SLOWER MONTHS?

The answer: Embrace the season, and the cold, snow, and darkness it brings.

NOW SERVING: HOT COCOA SATURDAY

Serve up a nice warm cup of hot cocoa to bring people in from the cold. If space allows, set-up a hot cocoa bar. Don’t forget the minimarshmallows, whipped topping, cinnamon, and nutmeg!

HAVE SOME FUN: ANYTHING BUT A…

Let your shoppers be the creative ones for once and plan a day where your shoppers come in with “Anything but a .” (Example: Anything but a purse.) Take photos of the creative items and post them to social media. Have your followers vote on their favorite and award a prize.

TIME TO CELEBRATE: MICHIGAN TURNS 186 ON JAN. 26 Happy Birthday to the Great Lake State! Run promotions with all your Michigan-made or -themed items.

PIECE SOMETHING TOGETHER: NATIONAL PUZZLE DAY

Jan. 29, 2023 is National Puzzle Day. Host a timed puzzle competition or set up a spare table to distract the kiddos while their parents shop.

&We’d love to hear what other ideas you have to get shoppers in your store this winter. Email news@retailers.com or tag our Buy Nearby account on social media:

Facebook: @BuyNearbyMI

Twitter: @BuyNearbyMI Instagram: @mibuynearby

CLOSE

SHOP: ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR HARDWORKING EMPLOYEES

Avoid burn-out and close your doors to host a delayed holiday party. Take one night and have fun getting to know your staff, and their families, outside of your store.

INCENTIVIZE: NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION TO BUY NEARBY

Keep your shoppers’ resolution to shop local accountable all year long. For example, shoppers earn a punch in a punch card for 12 purchases throughout the year, or one punch per month.

12 | Michigan Retailer
Michigan Retailer | 13
and celebrations to remember National Get Organized Month Begins JAN 1 Black History Month Begins FEB 1 Groundhog Day FEB 2 National Wear Red Day FEB 3 Martin Luther King Jr. Day JAN 16 Opposite Day JAN 25 Data Privacy Day & National Fun at Work Day JAN 28 Super Bowl Sunday FEB 12 Valentine’s Day Galentine’s Day (FEB 13) FEB 14 President’s Day FEB 20 Random Act of Kindness Week Random Act of Kindness Day (FEB. 17) FEB 14-20
Events
THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING, ALL YEAR LONG THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING, ALL YEAR LONG With renewal, you continue your access to our array of business services. Scan to renew online: Credit Card Processing Information to Keep You Informed Scan Here to Learn More! A Range of Insurance Offerings Advocacy in the Legislature Buy Nearby and Shop Local Promotions Shipping Discounts Free Labor Law Poster Retailers.com
Keep up with MRA this holiday season and beyond from the convenience of your mobile device! Follow us today! AGiftForYou! MRA HAS THE MERCHANT PROCESSING SOLUTION THAT’S JUST RIGHT FOR YOU. MRA OFFERS MULTIPLE PRICING STRUCTURES TO FIT YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS WE SERVICE ALL MAJOR CARDS And offer a variety of deposit options – including next day deposits. PROCESSING WITH MRA SAVES MERCHANTS AN AVERAGE OF 23% ON CREDIT CARD PROCESSING FEES. Scan this QR code to learn more about everything MRA can do for your business!

SHOP LOCAL Sell Local SHOP LOCAL Sell Local

Placing orders to stock your retail store can take time and effort, and knowing that the products will be of high quality and appealing to customers is key to success.

To help you Buy Nearby, MRA has compiled a list of Michigan-based small scale and specialty wholesale companies that might be a fit for your retail business.

16 | Michigan Retailer

Dancy’s Fancy Butters, Concord

Great Lakes Potato Chips, Traverse City

Hilbert’s Honey Co., Traverse City

Sander’s Chocolate, Detroit

White Lotus Farms, Ann Arbor

Wilde Thyme Foods, Holland

Wilson’s Cheese Shoppe, Pinconning

Ad

Michigan Retailer | 17
Kar’s Nuts, Detroit
Astra Roasters, Hillsdale Germack, Detroit Faust Haus Roasting, Detroit Flint Coffee Company, Flint Keweenaw Coffee Works, Calumet Water Street Coffee, Kalamazoo Detroit Sewn, Pontiac Gettees, Sterling Heights Michigan Awesome, Holland Stormy Kromer, Ironwood
American Fifth Spirit, Lansing North River Vodka, Traverse City St. Julian Wine, Paw Paw
FOOD
CLOTHING ALCOHOL JEWELRY
a recommendation for a Michigan-based wholesaler?
the
Rebel Nell, Detroit
COFFEE
Have
Scan
QR code or email communications@retailers.com.

Why Do Businesses That Sell Food Need a Food License?

People shopping at a grocery store or eating out at a restaurant may notice the food license hanging on the wall from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). This license is required to ensure each establishment has the appropriate set-up and is safely handling food in a sanitary manner. In order to obtain a food license, firms must pass an initial inspection. Risk-based inspection frequencies are then established for each firm and routine inspections are conducted.

MDARD partners with local health departments (LHDs) to issue licenses and conduct inspections. Foodservice establishments, such as restaurants and cafeterias, are inspected by LHDs. Retail stores and manufacturing facilities are inspected by MDARD. For firms that do a combination of activities, the predominance of business is used to determine which type of license the firm receives and who conducts the inspections. Licensing and inspections are an important part of ensuring all operations are keeping our food safe.

Most establishments proactively work to keep food safe. But, when things get busy, combined with staff shortages, supply chain issues, and other complications of running a business, conditions that lead to foodborne illness outbreaks can occur. The goal of MDARD and the LHDs is to ensure food businesses continue to keep food safety at the top of mind at all times.

MDARD also actively works to remove dangerous food products from the market through routine product sampling in the marketplace and laboratory testing for foodborne pathogens. The sampling program, along with complaint investigations and foodborne illness investigations sometimes lead to the identification of products that need to be removed from the market due to safety concerns. In those cases, MDARD works with federal partners at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and local authorities, as well as the businesses impacted by the issue, to prevent consumers from purchasing or consuming potentially hazardous foods that could make them sick.

MDARD has developed emergency action plans and procedures for food establishments in case of emergency situations that could negatively impact the safety of the food supply, including weather incidents, fires, and foodborne illness outbreaks, just to name a few. Together, we can reduce the risk and liability for food businesses and ensure a safe, wholesome food supply.

Considering selling small, pre-made or packaged food? Do you need a license? Scan here for more info.

Regulatory

NEWS & TRENDS

1. Minimum wage increases to $10.10 – Effective Jan. 1, Michigan’s minimum wage rate will increase to $10.10 an hour, up from the current $9.87. The 85% rate for minors aged 16 and 17 increases to $8.59 an hour. Tipped employees rate of pay increases to $3.84 an hour. The training wage of $4.25 an hour for newly hired employees ages 16 to 19 for their first 90 days of employment remains unchanged.

View and print the current Wage and Hour Poster for details.

2. Minimum wage/paid leave pending legal challenge update – On Dec. 13, the Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on a challenge to the amendments made to the 2018 proposals on minimum wage/ paid sick leave. Court of Claims Judge Douglas Shapiro ruled in July that the original proposals as adopted must stand, overturning the amendments added in late 2018 that made the laws more palatable for employers. Shapiro then issued a stay on his decision until Feb. 19 to give challenges time to play out in the courts.

MRA joined a business coalition amicus brief supporting the legislature’s ability to make the changes it did and warning against the harm overturning those amendments would bring on employers. The appeals court may not issue a decision until late January at the earliest. Regardless of how the court rules, the case will likely be appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court.

3. Holiday trends report – The Food Industry Association’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2022 Holiday Shopping October report found that while inflation remains a top concern and enthusiasm about the holiday season is down, Americans plan to celebrate the holidays to a greater extent than last year.

The report found:

• Holiday celebrations will be focused on in-person, social plans.

18 | Michigan Retailer
REGULATORY RUNDOWN

• Those who are shopping for gifts reported plans to shop further ahead of the December holidays than usual.

• 55% of shoppers will purchase new clothes less often.

• 47% will cut back on gifts for family.

• Gen Z shoppers were most likely to get ahead on gifts (35% vs. 28% Millennials, 24% Gen X, and 22% Boomers).

• Millennials are planning to purchase food early vs. 25% Gen Z, 26% Gen X, and 20% Boomers.

• 61% of shoppers expressed concern with rising

• Boomers were most concerned about rising prices (70%) and out-of-stock food items (48%).

• Households with kids have greater concerns about rising prices including food from grocery stores (72%), rent/housing costs (66%), holiday gifts (59%), and food from restaurants (56%).

• Managing inflation prices: 44% said they would purchase more store brands and 41% said they would purchase fewer items overall.

• Loyalty programs remain key to managing prices for shoppers –only 16% said loyalty programs were unimportant.

In addition to the holiday numbers, the Food Industry Association also reported that online grocery spending dropped, and shoppers reported that visits to the store helped to manage their overall basket, adjusting at the shelf and saving on shipping/ delivery fees.

Millennials are still the most likely to shop for food online (84% at least occasionally) and younger shoppers (34% of Gen Z and 40% of Millennials) tend to turn to mass stores (general merchandise retailers offering a large quantity of products at low prices) as their primary store.

Gen X (41%) and Boomers (49%) favor Supermarkets (conventional grocery stores with annual sales of two million dollars or more per store).

Jan. 1 – MRA scholarship program kicks off, apply through April 1

Jan. 15 – Open Enrollment for Individual Health Care Coverage deadline

Jan. 31 – Wage and Tax Statements/Information Returns (W-2, 1099s) give to employees/contractors, submit to IRS/Treasury

Feb. 1 – Post MIOSHA Form 300A – Summary of Work Related Injuries and Illnesses (if more than 11 employees) between Feb. 1 and April 30

Feb. 15 – Michigan Annual Report Due – Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and Professional Limited Liability with LARA

Feb. 28 – Michigan Sales, Use and Withholding Tax Annual Return due

Monthly reminders:

- Sales & Use Tax – Monthly & EFT – On or before the 20th day of the following month.

- Withholding Tax – Monthly & EFT – On or before the 20th day of the following month.

- Tobacco Tax Returns & Payments – Monthly – On or before the 20th day of the following month.

- Retailer’s Prepaid Wireless 911 Surcharge – within 30 days of the close of each month. Receipt of a completed Form 5012 is required regardless of payment method.

Quarterly reminders:

- Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Estimated Returns and Payments (Jan. 15th, April 15th, July 15th, Oct. 15th).

- Sales & Use Tax – Quarterly & EFT – On or before the 20th day of the month (Jan. 20th, April 20th, July 20th, Oct. 20th).

Michigan Retailer | 19

Family Legal Services, Livonia

Global Appliances, Warren

Camp America, Holland

Dallas Cleaners LLC, Marquette

Elenbaas Hardwood Incorporated, Jenison

First Presbyterian Church, Saginaw

Golden Glow Ballroom, Saginaw

Hubbard’s Military Supply, Flint

St. Ignace True Value Hardware, St. Ignace

Impact Fab Inc., Holland

K & L Management Inc., Wyandotte

New Image Hair Salon Inc., Cadillac

The Cheese Lady, Grand Rapids

Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant, Grand Rapids

20 | Michigan Retailer
MILESTONE MEMBERS
Thank you for your continued loyalty to Michigan Retailers Association!
25 YEARS 10 YEARS

NEW MEMBERS

Lenawee Public Transportation Authority, Adrian

St. Clair Flats Waterfowlers Inc., Algonac

WCB LLC, Algonac Chrysalis Services LLC, Allegan Hart of Clay, Allegan 2991 South State Street Inc., Ann Arbor

1709 Marquette LLC, Bay City Dunigan Marine Group LLC, Birmingham Humane Society of Genesee County, Burton

Big Foot Manufacturing Co., Cadillac Jim’s Scrap Iron Inc., Chelsea Bee Kind LLC, Chesaning Happenstance LLC, Clinton Township Sobie Painting, Custer

Robert Blesch dba Bowens Family Dining, Delton PFC Services LLC, Delton D&G Real Estate Holdings dba Joseph’s Coney Island, Detroit Mac’s Electric North LLC, East Jordan Hudgins Realty, East Lansing C & C Bio Clean, Farmington Hills Hill Steel & Builders Supplies Inc., Flint

RedThread Communications Inc., Grand Rapids

Popnotch Goods LLC, Grand Rapids Winde Performance LLC, Hamilton Mechanical Transplanter Co., Holland James Street Self Storage LLC, Holland

J Jukuri Spa, Houghton

August Winter House Inc., Howell Big Lake Promotions LLC, Hudsonville Hi-Tone Cleaners Inc., Jenison IHS Distributing Co Inc., Kalamazoo BTU Products LLC, Kentwood Independent Living Care Inc., Kingsford

Beem Fence LLC, Lake City Hammer’s Pub and Grub Inc., Lake City

OnSite Truck & Equipment Repair Inc., Ludington

JE Asian Grocery LLC, Ludington 1275 LLC, Madison Heights

Conrad’s Auto Repair, Manistee Life Coach Counseling Services PLLC, Manistee

Tenet Therapies Inc., Marquette True North Ice Cream LLC, Marshall Wayne’s Food Mart Inc., Montague Green Labs LLC, Morenci Westshore Technologies LLC, Muskegon

Discount Marine Source LLC, New Baltimore Express Tanks, Oak Park Snyder Performance Inc., Port Huron Patriot Exteriors LLC, Portage Par Industries Inc., Redford Osceola County EMS, Reed City

3843 Euclid LLC, Romeo Metals In Time, Royal Oak Tri County Body Shop LLC, Sand Lake Compassionate Arms Inc., Sterling Heights

Motor City Expeditors Inc., Sterling Heights

Diverse Transportation Services LLC, Taylor

Old Mission Multigrain LLC, Traverse City

Riley’s Candles LLC, Traverse City Bay Bread Company Inc., Traverse City Beacom Family Chiropractic PC, Whitehall Kwik Trip Inc., Wisconsin

Michigan Retailer | 21
All of us at MRA look forward to serving you!
HELLO

Every now and then, we stumble upon gems from our archives.

Back in 2002, MRA was saying farewell to a one-head printing press. Ken Sierakowski, Printer Operations Coordinator, poses with the machine, and all the paper dust it had inside during removal.

Now we’re celebrating a new machine, more user-friendly and fully equipped with fancy printing options. This issue currently in front of your eyes was printed on the new high-tech machine.

Let us know how we’re doing: news@retailers.com.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

MRA’s newest investment puts in the hours to bring you the information that matters.

22 | Michigan Retailer

Happy Holidays!

Michigan Retailer | 23

603 South Washington Avenue Lansing, Michigan 48933

Phone: 517.372.5656 or 800.366.3699 Fax: 517.372.1303

MICHIGAN

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