Industry Partners

NGA, FMI Applaud Bipartisan Pandemic Relief Proposal

Package includes a liability protection provision for retailers
Photograph: Shutterstock

Highlighting the inclusion of liability protections from coronavirus-related lawsuits against their supermarket members, the National Grocers Association (NGA) and FMI–The Food Industry Association separately expressed support for a bipartisan pandemic relief proposal that was announced Dec. 14.

The long-awaited proposal is broken into two parts: a $748 billion package boosting the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), nutrition programs, unemployment compensation and other funding; and a $160 billion add-on of state and local funding as well as a liability protection provision.

“This is an encouraging sign after months of deadlock,” said Chris Jones, SVP of government relations and counsel for NGA, in a release. “Although the proposal isn’t perfect, that is the nature of compromise, and we are particularly encouraged by the strong liability protections. On behalf of independent grocers across the U.S., we urge Congress to act quickly to protect independent grocers from frivolous lawsuits.”

FMI also expressed its support of the proposal’s inclusion of liability protection for retailers.

“FMI applauds the work of the bipartisan group of Senators, and the Problem Solvers Caucus in the House of Representatives, for reaching an agreement on COVID-19 legislation that recognizes the importance of liability relief along with aid to state and local governments,” Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI, said in a release. “These liability protections acknowledge the extraordinary efforts made by the food industry and its employees to follow government guidance to keep associates and customers safe during this national emergency. Liability relief is essential. The food industry calls on Congress to pass liability protections in the next COVID-19 response bill.”

Congressional leaders aim to approve the pandemic relief package, as well as a spending package, before government funding lapses Dec. 19 and before lawmakers leave for recess ahead of the Christmas holiday.



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