NACS stands up for its members every day in little—and big—ways. Whether it’s providing resources or speaking directly with Congress, NACS is on the frontlines ready to give the convenience and fuel retailing industry a voice. Much of that work takes the form of lobbying—the hard work of forming relationships with Members of Congress and urging them to support legislation that is important to the industry. An example of such legislation is the Credit Card Competition Act, which NACS has consistently championed.
Here are just six of the other ways that the NACS team supports the convenience industry—along with ideas for how you can get involved.
Organizing Day on the Hill
NACS Day on the Hill lets industry leaders get in front of their Members of Congress. The convenience and retailing industry intersects with the lives of 165 million Americans every day. Our industry is crucial to the American economy and should be a consideration to lawmakers when drafting legislation.
The annual Day on the Hill event offers retailers and suppliers a chance to advocate for the industry by speaking directly with Members of Congress. During last year’s Day on the Hill, 161 attendees attended over 200 Congressional meetings, including meeting with 91 senators. The NACS team spends time with participants to prepare them for the meetings.
Register for the 2024 Day on the Hill, which takes place March 12-13, here.
Forming Coalitions and Partnerships
Our industry has many touch points. It is affected by every committee on Capitol Hill. That’s why NACS amplifies its voice by joining or forming coalitions and organizations. NACS’ work within coalitions targets concerns or opportunities around swipe fees, labor, cannabis, fuel regulations, EVs and much more. In total, NACS works with more than 20 issue-specific coalitions, including the Merchants Payments Coalition and the Charge Ahead Partnership. NACS is a founding member of both.
Communicating With Government Agencies
The government relations team communicates with relevant government agencies on behalf of the industry. NACS files comments with organizations like the EPA to make its members’ concerns known and urge Washington officials. “It’s essential that we encourage government agencies to understand the perspective of our industry. Through regular communication, we make sure that the business of convenience store retailers is better understood by government officials whose job it is to weigh the impacts of their decisions on every aspect of the American economy,” said Paige Anderson, director, government relations.
Testifying Before Congress
Members of the government relations team regularly testify before Congress on behalf of the industry. For example, in the last year Doug Kantor, NACS general counsel, testified in three separate hearings about excessive swipe fees, privacy legislation and EPA’s tailpipe emissions rules to ensure that the convenience industry’s voice was heard. NACS also works to put retailers in front of congressional committees, enabling many convenience retail leaders to testify on behalf of the industry. Kevin Smartt of TXB, Jared Scheeler of The Hub, AJ Siccardi of Metroplex Energy and Trevor Walter of Sheetz, among others, have all testified in recent years.
Arranging In-Store Visits
Imagine having a senator or representative behind the counter of your convenience store, serving customers. The NACS In Store program makes that happen, putting a unique spotlight on frontline industry issues.
The Member of Congress visits a c-store for a tour and to learn the ins and outs of the business. Then, the elected official gets put to work behind the counter. The Member of Congress and community members get a chance to engage with one another and share the issues that are important to them. It’s also another opportunity for c-store operators to explain how legislation might affect their business.
A PAC is a political action committee that support candidates running for public office and is funded by voluntary contributions from people united with common interests. Governmental decisions heavily influence our industry and your business, making it especially important to help elect open-minded policymakers who understand our concerns. NACSPAC was created to legally contribute funds to federal candidates who have the greatest impact on NACS members, focusing on convenience and fuel retailing issues.
Learn more about NACSPAC or make a donation here.