Virginia’s sales tax holiday Aug. 5-7

Virginia’s upcoming sales tax holiday on clothing, school supplies, and footwear could provide a much-needed lift to many small stores and businesses, said Nicole Riley, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. The sales tax holiday is Aug. 5-7.

“It’s been a lackluster summer for a lot of small businesses,” Riley said. “The sales-tax holiday should help people get fired up and in the mood to spend.”

The latest NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, released July 12, shows that small-business confidence improved by only a fraction of one percent in June.

“Small businesses are in maintenance mode,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Uncertainty is high, expectations for better business conditions are low, and future business investments look weak.”

That’s where the sales-tax holiday comes in, Riley said. Parents would go back-to-school shopping regardless, she said, but the tax holiday could also attract cash-strapped shoppers who have delayed buying new clothes and devices.

“And people need to remember that the tax holiday applies to Main Street as well as the mall,” Riley said. “Even if you don’t need school clothes, you can save money shopping during the sales-tax holiday, and you can find some great deals and unique merchandise by shopping small.

“When you shop at small, locally-owned businesses, you’re helping your friends and neighbors,” Riley said. “You’re supporting the businesses that support our schools and charities and create jobs in our communities.

“Combined with the back-to-school sales a lot of stores are having, the sales-tax holiday is going to help people get a bigger bang for their buck,” Riley said. “The more we can do to encourage people to shop at small businesses, the more jobs we’ll save, and the faster our economy will grow.”

To learn more about Virginia’s sales tax holiday, visit the Department of Revenue’s website at http://www.tax.virginia.gov/content/sales-tax-holiday.