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Press Release

NAMA Chair Emeritus Craig Hesch, Linda Furlano, Donnie Anderson and Alex Munoz Represent the Industry at Cook County Hearing on Sweetened Beverage Tax

CHICAGO – January 12, 2017 – Craig Hesch, NAMA Chair Emeritus and President of AH Management; Linda Furlano, Treasurer/Vice President of Illinois Automatic Merchandising Council and Vice President of Administration of AH Management; Donnie Anderson, Chair of Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors and President of DonnyBoy Vending and Alex Munoz, President of Munoz Enterprise Inc, joined together to represent the industry at a hearing this week regarding the Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT) in Cook County, Illinois scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2017.

“We are asking for flexibility for the remittance of the tax, as well as a comprehensive review of the issues resulting in a tremendous burden for many businesses, including those in our industry,” said Hesch.

This hearing, including an open dialog with nearly 75 representatives of restaurants, retailers, suppliers, bottlers, as well as trade associations, was the first of two scheduled to review outstanding issues related to the tax. The second of two hearings scheduled will take place January 27.

“We are thankful to those who have been diligent in representing the industry for more than a year in educating Cook County on the negative impact of the tax on the industry. This collaboration is key to ensure our industry’s voice is heard on the issue that could have a significant financial impact on our members,” said Sheree Edwards, Regional Legislative Director at NAMA.

“It is essential to continue to work with lawmakers and County officials on this issue as important compliance elements of the tax are being considered,” said Edwards.

NAMA represents the $34.9 billion U.S. Convenience Services Industry. By providing advocacy, education, and research, NAMA works to promote and protect the industry’s over 160,000 hardworking employees. Through traditional vending and micro markets, office coffee and pantry services, product manufacturing, and small-drop distribution, convenience services meets the needs of over 40 million American consumers daily at work, home, school, and play.

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