GALLIPOLIS — U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson received the Ohio Council of Retail Merchant’s “Hero of Main Street” award Friday for his support of Ohio retail merchants and small business.
Tom Tope, proprietor of Acquisitions Fine Jewelry, presented the award to Johnson in the Second Avenue business’ storefront.
“The award means an awful lot to me,” Johnson said. “I believe in small business and I believe in the retail community. I believe that small businesses , like the one Tom has here, that’s where 60 percent of the jobs in America come from. Without small businesses like this, America doesn’t work. I’m going to always remain a champion of Main Street.”
“The National Retail Federation has an annual award that they put out for members of Congress who are supportive of legislation and policies that are pro-business and pro-retail,” said Lora Miller, director of governmental affairs and public relations. “We greatly appreciate the congressman’s support in his common sense and pro-business visions when he is working on legislation at the federal level. He understands what it’s like to run a business and we need more of that in Congress. He has great vision and it’s too bad there isn’t more of him.”
Miller praised Johnson’s and state Rep. Ryan Smith’s support of initiatives like the state tax holiday that occurred Aug. 5-7.
The Ohio Council of Retail Merchant’s has partnered with the support of the National Retail Federation in handing out such awards in the past.
Founded in 1922, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants is the state’s oldest and largest advocate for the retail industry, representing more than 5,000 retailers across the state. Ohio’s retail industry accounts for 18 percent of Ohio’s Gross Domestic Product ($26.5 billion annually) and directly or indirectly employs 1.5 million people, 1 in 4 Ohio jobs, more than any other industry.