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05/19/2024 02:42 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: May 24, 2023 02:16 PM
From: Senator Marty Flynn
To: All Senate members
Subject: Small Convenience Retailers Protection Act
Small businesses serve as the lifeblood of our local communities’ economy and vitality.  Quite frequently, these small businesses give back to their communities by investing time and money in support of community organizations, youth sports teams, and local community events.   The owners of these small businesses are often well known in the community and regularly interact with local officials on issues of importance.   Protecting and supporting these small businesses is critical to the economic future and attractiveness of our local communities.  

Unfortunately, the model on which many of these independent small businesses operate has been upended significantly over the last two years.   The combination of COVID shutdowns and inflationary pressures has placed significant financial stress on many businesses, particularly our local, independent convenience store operators.

As part of a budget balancing effort in 2016, the General Assembly raised cigarette taxes as well as levying taxes on other tobacco products such as smokeless, pipe, roll-your-own tobacco, and electronic cigarettes and related products.  This revenue-raising measure also increased costs to the retailer in excess of the basic cost of cigarettes.

To mitigate some of these impacts on retailers, I plan to the introduce the Small Convenience Retailers Protection Act, which would be most beneficial to small, independent convenience store operators whose business model differs significantly from that of chain convenience store operators. 
Since the minimum margin was last increased in 2016, wages and product prices have increased significantly.  My legislation would increase the minimum margin a retailer receives on the sale of cigarettes by reversing the 2016 increase to Cost of the Retailer. This would allow these small convenience retailers to negate some of these pricing pressures, remain economically competitive, and continue to be an integral part of our local communities.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation to assist local small businesses that support our communities.

Introduced as SB837