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Why You Should Be A Part Of The Independent Community

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Becoming a member of the National Grocers Association makes you a part of a community based on relationships.

NGA is a collaborative network built on trust, with each member helping to make each other, and the collective, stronger as one. The association helps to amplify the story of independent operators and their vendor partners throughout the communities they serve.

“Joining is like becoming part of the family,” says NGA member retailer Gary Redner, “aiming to serve our guests, our team members and the vendor partners who help make us unique.”

A recent webinar explored the benefits of being a member of NGA, the only national trade association dedicated to representing and advancing the interest of the independent, family-owned grocer. NGA team leaders explained NGA’s mission, the purpose of the NGA Foundation and the benefits for the different classes of membership. Plus, Redner shared information about his Pennsylvania-based grocery chain and benefits it has enjoyed through NGA membership.

In addition to Redner, speakers included Chelsea Matzen, vice president of the NGA Foundation, and Anita Nunez Cepollaro, NGA’s vice president of business development.

Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:

Who is NGA? It’s the only national trade association that represents independent community grocers in every congressional district across the country, as well as their wholesaler partners. By advocating for the growth and continuing innovation of these community business leaders, we help them bring choice, convenience and value to hard-working Americans. NGA represents nearly 22,000 storefronts that generate more than $250 billion in annual sales, a third of all grocery sales in the U.S.

What do members get from NGA? Advocacy leadership on current and potential legislation, understanding business impact and regulation consultation; a view of the industry landscape, including emerging trends, opportunities, new products, solutions and industry news; and collaboration for growth, including best practices, benchmarking, partnerships and insights.

Who are members of NGA? NGA membership categories include retailers, encompassing more than 1,800 independent, privately owned retail grocers; wholesalers, including more than 30 companies that supply independent retailers; and associate members, who are suppliers looking to engage with retailers and wholesalers, including more than 150 companies such as CPGs, tech partners and providers of equipment and services.

The NGA Foundation is the nonprofit arm of NGA that supports the future of the independent community grocer through initiatives to develop more effective recruiting programs, enhance retention efforts, and bolster professional and leadership development opportunities for employees. NGAF’s five pillars encompass diversity and inclusion, industry promotion, student programs, leadership development, and technical assistance.

Key events that bring NGA members together include The NGA Show, Fly-in For Fair Competition, Executive Leadership Development Program, Store Operations Summits and the Executive Conference and Public Policy Summit.

NGA’s vision is a nation where the independent grocer thrives at the heart of the community. Its mission is to champion the independent grocery industry through advocacy, collaboration, education, services and connections. The association recently launched a new five-point strategic plan to advocate for favorable policy, optimize member growth and engagement, connect stakeholders through events and share groups, educate to achieve operational excellence, amplify the stories of Main Street community grocers.

Feedback from members praises NGA for government relations, education, advocacy, bringing members together and promoting collaboration.

Benefits of membership. Redner, whose family’s business has grown into a thriving employee-owned regional chain since its founding in 1970, credits NGA for bringing him opportunities for networking, discovering new products and innovations, exploring new vendor relationships, educational sessions from peers and experts, hearing GR updates and how impact business, learning about economic and industry trends, cultivating relationships through social events. Redner is a member of NGA’s executive committee and currently serves as its board secretary.

Learn more about NGA at https://www.nationalgrocers.org/.

For more exclusive insights, view a recording of the complete webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/339763825411401984.

Read more association news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Jim Dudlicek

Director, Communications and External Affairs at NGA

Jim Dudlicek is Managing Editor and Content Strategist at NGA. The National Grocers Association is the trade association representing the U.S. independent community supermarket industry. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers.

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