The Ohio Council of Retail Merchants (The Council) has been serving the interests of Ohio’s retail and wholesale industries since 1922. Our 7,700-plus members rely on the expertise and passion of the Council leadership to promote and support initiatives that pave a positive path for the state’s retail community. The Council is proud of its heritage and that of the eight (8) affiliate associations:

The Council concentrates on four main areas as it relates to building and maintaining a robust retail environment – Public Policy, Political Activity, Member Benefits, and Research.

Public Policy

The Council leadership works closely with Ohio statehouse policymakers and the leaders from other relevant industries to develop public policy that helps retail grow in our state. We are dedicated to supporting a business environment that produces jobs for Ohioans while at the same time encouraging consumers to spend their dollars at retailers operating in Ohio.

Political Activity

Ohio’s retail community needs a voice in government. As such, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants make sure the voice of retail is heard loud and clear in the halls of the Statehouse. We fight for or against legislation that can impact retail and wholesale distribution in Ohio, making sure laws are passed or stopped in the interest of Ohio businesses and consumers.

Member Benefits

There is power in numbers, and the 7,700-plus members of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants gives you buying power. Our association provides affordable products and services that are critical to our members’ business operations, helping them remain competitive in today’s business environment. These benefits include:

  • Employer-sponsored Healthcare
  • Workers Comp
  • Credit & Debit Card Processing and Services
  • Preferred Shipping Services
  • Human Resources Services (like 401K products and payroll services)


The Ohio Council of Retail Merchants established an affiliate organization called Focus on Ohio’s Future in 2010. The purpose of this organization is to help fund and produce research white papers relevant to Ohio’s retail environment.

Focus on Ohio’s Future has completed fourteen research projects since its inception. We publish a holiday sales forecast each November. In addition, we published research supporting Ohio’s sales tax holiday. Focus on Ohio’s Future will continue to be the research partner to the Council as the organization prepares future white papers focused on important retail issues.

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