March 26, 2024

New Gallego Bill Helps Arizona’s Small Businesses Offset Security Costs

The SAFE Retail Act provides tax credits to small businesses for storefront security

WASHINGTONRep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) introduced the Safer American Family Enterprise (SAFE) Retail Act of 2024, legislation to support small businesses seeking to invest in storefront security.

“Arizona’s small businesses are the bedrock of our state’s economy. They’re not large corporations; they’re mom-and-pop shops working hard to provide for their families,” said Rep. Gallego. “Arizonans pour their entire lives into growing their businesses, and protecting their storefronts, employees, and revenue are some of the top concerns I hear from small business owners. I’m introducing the SAFE Retail Act to get Arizona’s small business owners the resources they need to protect their livelihoods and keep their employees safe.”

This bill would establish a tax credit that small businesses can claim for expenditures related to storefront security, including cameras and anti-theft technologies. The SAFE Retail Act would allow businesses to claim 50% of expenses between $250 and up to $5,000 cumulatively over five years.

Eligible businesses are those that have fewer than 50 employees, have storefronts, and are targets of retail theft. This would close the cost barriers that small businesses face in investing in anti-theft technologies that many mid-sized and large retailers do not face.

The SAFE Retail Act builds on Rep. Gallego’s efforts to support small businesses in Arizona. In December, Rep. Gallego called for action to combat organized retail crime – the coordinated, large-scale theft of retail merchandise to resell that merchandise for financial gain – and touted his efforts in Congress to protect Arizonans and end these crime rings.

In 2022, Arizona retailers lost an estimated $1.5 billion in revenue to theft. The State of Arizona lost out on $84 million in retail sales tax dollars due to theft, reducing funding that provides vital services to Arizona families.

In October last year, Rep. Gallego announced his support for the bipartisan Combating Organized Retail Crime Act, legislation to empower federal law enforcement to address organized retail crime groups targeting American businesses and consumers.

He previously sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting their agencies increase efforts to re-prioritize and counter an alarming rise in organized retail crime nationwide.

Text of the legislation can be found HERE.