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Secretary Ross Highlights Business Strength and American Optimism in Florida

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross traveled to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Friday and toured a local business that has successfully overcome many challenges of doing business in the wake of COVID-19. City Furniture continued to work through the economic downturn caused by the pandemic and became an example of a successful business that contributed to September’s strong retail sales in both Florida and across the country.

City Furniture is family owned and one of the largest home furnishing and accent retailers in Florida. Their products include home furnishings, mattresses and home accents—all American made. Additionally, they operate as an e-commerce retailer. Today, they are working on leveraging their “one-day” shipping infrastructure and network to keep customers while navigating COVID-19. They are adding 500 new jobs and making $150M in capital investments into their multi-state retail stores.

Secretary Ross toured the show floor and warehouse, and then participated in a business roundtable hosted by the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Alliance. During his remarks, Secretary Ross discussed the Administration’s economic priorities and praised last week’s strong retail sales numbers. He noted that, thanks to strong consumer confidence, U.S. retail sales continue to increase both nationally and in Florida. Following his remarks, Secretary Ross heard from local business leaders on the state of business in the Greater Ft. Lauderdale community.  Business leaders expressed optimism as America continues to restore and rebuild the U.S. economy.

Earlier in the day, Secretary Ross participated in a special naturalization ceremony to swear-in 40 new American citizens, representing 23 countries at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in Oakland Park, Florida. In congratulating the new Americans, Secretary Ross praised them for working hard to earn their new title and stressed that “As citizens, you will work and innovate in a variety of industries that add value to our American economy and way of life.” Following the Secretary’s remarks, participants listened to a video-taped message from President Trump congratulating the them as the newest generation of American citizens. 

On Thursday, Secretary Ross presented the Commerce Department’s E-Star Award to Palladio Beauty Group, a small manufacturer of color cosmetics and skin care products in Hollywood, Florida. The President’s “E” Awards are the highest recognition a U.S. entity can receive for contributions to expanding U.S. exports. During his remarks Secretary Ross stressed that exports are critically important to our national economy and praised Palladio for their superior performance in exporting. Palladio is one of 39 recipients of a Presidential exporting award this year and the only recipient to receive the “E Star” Award for exports. The “E” Star Award for Export Service recognizes previous “E” awardees that have shown four years of continued assistance and facilitation of exports since first winning the “E” Award.”

“With American companies like these awardees successfully exporting to some of the most challenging markets around the world, we can continue to rebuild and reclaim free, fair, and reciprocal global trade opportunities,” said Secretary Ross.

For more information on the President’s “E” Award or to view past Secretarial speeches and announcements on the award, please visit