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Dave's Soda & Pet City owner to lobby in DC with National Retail Federation

Dave Ratner, owner of Massachusetts-based Dave's Soda & Pet City, will join other members of the National Retail Federation (NRF) in Washington, D.C. for the association's annual Retail Advocates Summit on July 29–30, 2014.

Ratner is on the board, and will be speaking to US senators and the House of Representatives about "Main Street Fairness," a proposal to require Internet retailers to charge sales tax. According to the NRF, passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act could lead to a US$563 billion increase in gross domestic product and 1.5 million new jobs by 2022 by stimulating the retail sector.

Ratner also plans to talk about reforming the corporate income tax. He, like other NRF members in small business, said he wants the overall corporate tax rate lowered and the loopholes done away with.

It's not a federal issue, but Ratner said he also plans to also talk minimum wage issues with the Massachusetts delegation. Massachusetts recently decided to raise the minimum wage gradually, to US$9 per hour in 2015, US$10 in 2016 and US$11 in 2017. The problem is if neighboring states don't follow with similar increases, said Ratner, a store in local East Longmeadow could be put at a disadvantage to a store in neighboring Enfield, Connecticut.

Ratner is currently in the running to be named America's Retail Champion, a new program NRF created to recognize outstanding retail industry and small business advocates. The federation will name a champion during the summit.

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