WASHINGTON - The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCC) announced that it recently participated in a roundtable regarding the effect the "big box" stores (Home Depot, Lowe's, Sears, Wal-Mart, etc.) are having on small businesses. PHCC stated at the hearing that the big box stores are indeed impacting the construction industry because they carry a wide variety of products that were once typically only available through contractors.

In addition, in some parts of the country, PHHC said such stores have attempted to circumvent the licensing process and thereby compete directly with the industry. A good percentage of the discussion focused on several recent, yet unsuccessful, attempts by Wal-Mart to enter the banking industry. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Small Business Committee, hosted the meeting.

PHCC said it will continue to work with Rep. Velazquez and her staff regarding the impact these stores are having on the plumbing-heating-cooling industry.

Publication date: 06/26/2006