NFIB, the state’s leading small business association, issued the following statement on the passage by the Ohio House of Representatives of House Bill 215, the Business Fairness Act. This bill now heads over to the Ohio Senate.

Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio, said:

“NFIB on behalf of our membership of over 21,000 in Ohio would like to thank Speaker Bob Cupp and House Bill 215 co-sponsors Representatives Shane Wilken and Jon Cross for seeing this high-priority legislation through the Ohio House of Representatives.

“House Bill 215, the Business Fairness Act, allows a business required to close or limit operations as a result of a government order, due to no fault of their own, be able to remain open as soon as that business can comply with the safety precautions required of businesses permitted to stay operational.

“The pandemic hit Ohio small business owners hard, with many saying they were down by over 50 percent in revenue in 2020, its impact will be felt for years. It was simply not fair for small business owners who have been forced to shut down while their major big box store competitors were able to remain open, often selling the same of very similar products. This important legislation is about fairness.

“Any business that can comply with all the safety protocols must be able to remain open. Small businesses who play a significant role in every community’s economic vitality and job creation demand this equal treatment.

“Government should never be in the business of picking winners and losers. The playing field must be level for all businesses. NFIB is proud to have played a lead role in working with the Ohio House of Representatives in the passage of House Bill 215. We look forward to its passage in the Ohio Senate and then receiving the signature of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.”

For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the one, true Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as the engine of the American economy and its biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available at www.NFIB.com.