Maine's retail businesses are facing more competition and greater challenges today than ever before. In such an environment, it is essential to have an advocate to ward off burdensome laws and regulations that add to the cost and reduce business efficiency.
Maine's retailers also need a source for products and services, at affordable prices, that all businesses require.
Your Voice, Your Pocket:
The Retail Association of Maine represents the retail merchant industry before elected officials for policy and voting decisions. We are on the front lines of issues that directly affect your bottom line: wage and hour issues, swipe fees, gift cards, worker's compensation costs, employee benefits, health care costs, taxes and more.
Our lobbying and issue education efforts play an integral role in the democratic process and ensure sound policy decisions. Just a few examples of our recent work on behalf of members:
- Lowered debit card swipe fees by 40%
- Repealed law that required retailers to send 60% of the unused value of gift cards to the state of Maine.
- Coordinated the effort to repeal a sales tax expansion to 100 new items and services.
- Upheld private property rights by prohibiting petitioners from gathering signatures at retail locations.
- Defeated a controversial and expensive proposal to have Maine become the first state and only state to mandate paid family leave.
We are also one of the first stops for the print, radio and television media for background information.
We use our strength in membership to negotiate services for retailers that may not be available to businesses individually. The services we offer have been developed in response to member needs and requests. We strive to improve a business's bottom line by offering money-saving services of value to any business.
Our members take advantage of a wide range of money-saving programs, including a first-in-Maine 401K program, a credit/debit card processing program, discounted electricity, fuel oil and natural gas, a proven worker's compensation insurance trust, and other valuable benefits.
On behalf of our members, large and small, we research your questions regarding laws enacted by the legislature and rules adopted by state agencies. While we cannot offer legal advice, we can usually cut through the red tape and point members in the right direction. This service saves our members valuable time, money and enables you to comply with the law. Please contact us with questions.
We help educate our members through a variety of events targeted to merchants. Recent events include: Complying with the Affordable Care Act, Loss Prevention, and Making Your Website Mobile. Check out our full events calendar.
The Retail Association of Maine is governed by a 21-member Board of Directors who represents a wide variety of retailers who do business in Maine. Two-thirds of the board members are Maine-based retailers. The board meets six times each year and the full membership meets annually in October.
The Retail Association of Maine is a 501c-6, tax-exempt organization supported by members' dues, sponsorships and event income.
Our Retail Association of Maine newsletter is published four times a year and includes information about legislation, retail trends, statistics, current and proposed laws with which businesses need to comply, member profiles, and information about endorsed services. During the legislative session, we send weekly electronic legislative updates and issue periodic updates during the remainder of the year.
The Retail Association of Maine is located at:
45 Melville Street
Augusta, Maine 04330