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Legislative success is the result of a keen focus on building consensus, professional leadership, and positive political efforts.

Our professional and highly capable government relations team together have over 35 years of lobbying experience.  NCRMA was listed by the Southern Political Report as one of the Top Five Associations for purposes of lobbying in North Carolina.

NCRMA President and General Counsel Andy Ellen has been named one of the five most effective lobbyists in North Carolina by the North Carolina Public Policy Institute for the last three bienniums, as well as a recipient of the 2014 Triangle Business Journal’s Corporate Counsel Award.

Senior Vice President of NCRMA Elizabeth Robinson is a past president of the Young Lobbyists Association and is the 2017-2018 President of the North Carolina Professional Lobbyists Association.

NCRMA’s 2023 Top Legislative Successes

There are few North Carolina associations as well-respected and well-regarded as the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association. If there is a legislative issue that is important to the business community being debated at the North Carolina General Assembly, legislators from both parties make sure they have NCRMA at the table providing input and getting the job done.

Over its 120-plus year history, NCRMA’s advocacy program has been second-to-none and this success continued in 2023. North Carolina is seeing tremendous population growth and is now the ninth largest state, so it is vitally important that you have a voice on issues that matter to the success of your retail business and NCRMA’s voice is heard loud and clear in the halls of the North Carolina General Assembly.

Here is a snapshot of NCRMA’s 2023 Legislative Achievements – fueling your bottom-line and providing a great ROI:

Organized Retail Crime (ORC)

  • Passed legislation to increase criminal penalties on cargo theft and allowing for the aggregation of multiple financial crimes. (SB 409)
  • Initiated a successful appropriations request for eight sworn positions in the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to engage in ORC investigations. (HB 259)

Business Operations

  • Preempted any local ordinance on auxiliary containers (plastic bags, Styrofoam containers, straws, utensils) or tax or fees on these items and the regulations of shopping carts. (HB 259)
  • Represented retailers in the future of transportation funding stakeholder process, holding off measures on proposed delivery service fees and use of taxes on auto parts and auto services. (SB 354)
  • Expanded eligibility and streamlined administration for the $250,000 RISE Up retail industry credentialing program to develop a workforce pipeline for retailers to anyone enrolled in an NC Community College. (HB 259)
  • Passed legislation preventing local governments from adopting any ordinance that prohibits any certain type of energy service or limits the sale, purchase, or installation of an appliance included under the definition of “white goods.” (HB 130)
  • Defeated legislation mandating increased minimum wage, paid sick leave and predictive scheduling. (Various Bills)
  • Supported an increase in the maximum amount of insurance issued by the North Carolina Beach Plan to ensure properties were not underinsured and insurance remains accessible and affordable. (SB 452)

Workers’ Compensation, Tort, and Unemployment Insurance

  • Defeated attempts by plaintiff’s attorneys to significantly alter North Carolina rules of evidence on billed v. paid medical damages. (HB 161)
  • Led the coalition, along with the North Carolina Home Builders Association and North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, to legislatively overturn two Court of Appeals decisions and retroactively reinstate the 500-week cap on temporary total disability in the workers’ compensation system. (HB 259)
  • Spearheaded the confirmation of Chairman Phil Baddour to the North Carolina Industrial Commission (workers’ compensation) and Theresa Stephenson to the NC Board of Review (unemployment compensation). (SJR 220, SJR 221)

Alcohol and Tobacco

  • Passed legislation clarifying that a tobacco retailer is not deemed to be a distributor for using a third-party delivery service, and therefore is exempt from the Department of Revenue additional licensure and reporting requirements. (SB 174)
  • Led the legislative and legal efforts to challenge the legality of split-case fees on wine being charged by wine wholesalers leading to a decision by the ABC Commission that split-case fees by the bottle are an illegal quantity discount.


  • Passed legislation to allow immunizing pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns to administer 1) COVID and influenza vaccines to patients seven years of age and older, and 2) ACIP recommended vaccinations or immunizations to patients eighteen years of age and older in accordance with a written protocol from a physician. (SB 206)
  • Extended the authority of the State Health Director to issue a statewide standing order to act as the ordering physician so pharmacists can be reimbursed by NC Medicaid through December 31, 2024. (HB 190)
  • Restored objective criteria for the Medicaid Lock-In program balancing Medicaid recipients use of controlled substances with the need to maintain the Pharmacy of Choice law. (HB 259)

Contact the NCRMA lobbying team by clicking on a name below.


Andy Ellen

Elizabeth Robinson

The NCRMA lobbying team works to give a voice to the retail industry in North Carolina.

NCRMA members have the exclusive benefit to call on our legislative team at any time – we work on your behalf, meeting directly with state lawmakers and regulators to assist you so that elected officials understand how their actions affect businesses in our state. Whether it is the passage of positive legislation or stopping legislation that could negatively impact your business through taxes, regulations or fees, we are in your corner.

Because so many laws impact the retail industry, NCRMA is keenly interested in myriad state legislative and regulatory actions. For example:

• As business owners, retail merchants are concerned about tax issues such as corporate income, privilege license taxes, unemployment, and sales and use tax.

• Supporting strong laws against organized retail theft and a fair legal climate keeps NCRMA before the Judiciary Committees.

• NCRMA stays attuned to issues impacting pharmacies from product regulations to Medicaid reimbursement.

• As employers, retailers are concerned about employee health and safety issues and legislation that impacts employer-employee relations.

• Efficient delivery of goods to our stores (and customers) makes transportation an important component of a strong retail industry.

• Alcohol, tobacco and food safety issues are also of great interest to the grocery and restaurant industries.

• Store operations issue can be anything from locksmith licensing to plastic bag restrictions and NCRMA stays on top of it all on your behalf.

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