With the passage of the recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act by Congress, grocers and affiliated businesses across the country should get some relief from strains due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. The National Grocers Association (NGA) voiced its support of the legislation, which also fixed the retail glitch contained in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The National Milk Producers Federation expressed its appreciation for the CARES Act, which it says is a “balm” to dairy producers across the nation. And in an effort to make things a bit easier for those age 60 and older, Mercato is working with DoorDash to provide free unlimited grocery delivery.
CARES Act contains important tax provision for independent grocers
NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara expressed the association’s appreciation to the U.S. House of Representatives for passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which also fixed the retail glitch. The retail glitch was a drafting error in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 that had unintended consequences for retailers.
“As independent grocers are stepping up to the frontlines to serve their communities during the current public health crisis, NGA appreciates the bipartisan work done by Congress to resolve the retail glitch and provide the needed certainty to allow for grocers to reinvest in their stores and drive economic growth in their local communities,” Ferrara said. “NGA was proud to help lead efforts to bring about this important fix for independent supermarkets who have been unfairly penalized due to a simple drafting error.”
The TCJA included a provision providing businesses with a 100 percent bonus depreciation to be used to write off the full costs of short-lived investments immediately. Congress intended to help retailers invest in their businesses with the inclusion of this provision. However, due to a drafting error, some categories of business investment, most notably qualified improvement property, or “QIP,” were excluded from being 100 percent eligible for bonus depreciation. Due to this error, retailers making investments to improve their stores now face a more restrictive cost recovery period that is twice than under the prior law.
NGA sent a letter to Congressional leadership in early March, urging lawmakers to include a legislative fix for the retail glitch in any economic stimulus measures during the coronavirus pandemic.
NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry.
NMPF president reacts to passage of CARES Act
In response to the U.S. House of Representatives approving the Senate’s sweeping response to the coronavirus pandemic, NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern stated the action “is a balm to dairy producers who have endured brutal weeks and may do so in the weeks ahead.”
He thanked all members of Congress who worked to produce the bipartisan response package.
Mulhern also thanked the president for signing the bill, adding that “dairy will be applauding with the rest of the country at the powerful support shown for agriculture and the American people. And NMPF will be eager to assist in its implementation to ensure that dairy farmers receive needed relief from the ongoing market disruption.”
NMPF, based in Arlington, Virginia, develops and carries out policies that advance dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. NMPF’s member cooperatives produce more than two-thirds of U.S. milk.
Mercato offers unlimited free grocery delivery to people ages 60+
Mercato, the online grocery e-commerce platform for independently owned grocery and specialty food stores, is waiving delivery fees for those 60 years of age and older through at least May 7. In partnership with its preferred delivery provider DoorDash, Mercato will provide unlimited, on-demand delivery of fresh groceries and pantry staples to seniors who feel safer ordering from their computer and getting food delivered to their doorstep within hours.
More than 900 stores across the nation are on Mercato.com, including those in high density cities most widely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, to more rural communities. Eligible customers 60-plus can shop from independent grocers and specialty food stores in their area to receive free delivery on everything from meat and fish to organic produce, bakery items, prepared foods, pantry staples and special dietary options. To minimize contact between the customer and delivery person, customers can request a “no-contact delivery” at checkout and have the ability to provide instructions on where to leave their grocery order.
“The current crisis has made getting basic groceries a challenge for everyone, but especially for those 60 and over, for whom long lines and crowded stores pose an elevated risk,” said Bobby Brannigan, Mercato founder and CEO. “At the same time, independent grocers are showing their strong commitment to their communities—working overtime to ensure they are stocked with fresh, quality, and often, local food items. We find many of the grocers on our platform have many hard-to-find items such as various cuts of chicken and meats, and yes, toilet paper.”
To sign up for unlimited free delivery from any one of Mercato’s 900-plus participating stores until May 7, visit Mercato.com, input your delivery zip code and choose products from any of the stores in your delivery area. During checkout, you can sign up for a free trial of the Mercato Green delivery membership program, input the promo code OVER60, and you will be prompted to put in your date of birth.
By ordering groceries during the pandemic from these independently owned stores on Mercato.com versus the big box stores and supermarket chains, consumers can support local, independent businesses where they live.
“One of our goals is to show consumers the variety of superior food items and ingredients, including those that are seasonal and locally sourced, that they can find at independent stores in their community. Mercato delivers ingredients that are carefully selected by the grocers themselves, with special attention given to quality, freshness and variety. And shopping at these neighborhood stores supports a healthy local economy—so important, particularly in times like these,” said Brannigan.
“In our continued emphasis on safety and health throughout this crisis, we want to make sure that those who are most at risk are able to shop for their daily grocery needs online and access affordable and safe on-demand grocery options without ever having to leave their homes,” said Casey North, VP of drive at DoorDash. “We are proud to team up with our partners in the grocery industry to make this a reality across stores nationally.”