Ordered, That, there shall be a special senate taskforce to review and report on efforts to strengthen the local retail sector in the commonwealth. The review shall include, but not be limited to: (i) challenges faced by local retailers in a changing economic environment increasingly dominated by large online sellers; (ii) closures of local retail establishments, affecting local economies and property tax bases; (iii) initiatives taken by local retailers to increase or maintain their market share; and (iv) actions by state and local governments to encourage purchasing from local retailers, consistent with other important policy objectives including adequate revenues. The task force shall consist of 13 members, 7 of whom shall be members of the senate, 5 appointed by the president and 2 by the minority leader, 5 members who represent large and small retailers from geographically diverse regions of the commonwealth, 3 of whom shall be appointed by the president and 2 by the minority leader, 1 member whom shall represent the retailers association of Massachusetts. The task force may consult with experts in business and economics to facilitate the committee’s work and shall hold at least 1 public hearing. The task force shall file a report of its findings with the clerk of the senate not later than June 1, 2018.
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