SURVEY: AL Small Business Concerned About Lawsuits That Exploit COVID-19 Situation

Date: June 04, 2020

A majority of Alabama small business owners surveyed by the National Federation of Independent Business say they’re concerned about the possibility of lawsuits related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sixty-nine percent of owners who responded to the online survey say they’re very or moderately concerned about increased liability. Twenty-one percent say they’re not too concerned, while 9% say they aren’t concerned at all.

“Even in the best of times, small businesses are often the target of opportunists trying to make a buck by filing a frivolous lawsuit,” NFIB State Director Rosemary Elebash said. “It’s clear from the survey that Alabama small business owners are concerned about the potential for lawsuits to try to exploit the already devastating effects of the coronavirus.

“During the regular session of the legislature, Sen. Arthur Orr introduced a bill that would provide civil immunity for businesses, healthcare providers, churches, schools, and other organizations in connection with the novel coronavirus during a declared state of emergency,” Elebash said. 

“The reasonable measures provided in Senator Orr’s bill would protect businesses struggling to keep their doors open from the risk and expense of lawsuits associated with COVID-19,” Elebash said. “If the legislature is called back for a special session, Senator Orr’s bill will be one of NFIB’s top priorities.”

In other results, the survey said:

   • 70% of owners say they’re very or moderately concerned about getting customers back.
   • 69% are concerned about managing the health and safety of their customers; 66% are concerned about managing the health and safety of employees.
   • 69% are concerned with having to comply with new regulations related to the coronavirus.
   • 68% are concerned about finding an adequate supply of supplies such as hand sanitizer and disinfectant.

“This has been a challenging spring for Alabama’s small businesses,” Elebash said. “NFIB is committed to working closely with elected officials to develop strategies that allow more businesses to reopen fully so people can get back to work.”

 

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