Bills Would Let Small Businesses Remain Open During a Health Emergency

Date: March 02, 2021

NFIB State Director Nathan Humphrey says Georgia’s small business owners are calling on their legislators to pass HB468 and SB200, bills that would let them remain open during a pandemic or other health emergency as long as they follow the government’s safety precautions.

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HB468, introduced by Rep. Kasey Carpenter, will go before the full House on Wednesday. SB200, sponsored by Sen. Jason Anavitarte, is expected to come up for a vote on the floor of the Senate on Friday.

Humphrey said the bills would cement into law Governor Kemp’s policy of allowing businesses to remain open during the pandemic as long as they follow government guidelines.

“This legislation would avoid situations where it appears the government is picking winners and losers during a health crisis,” Humphrey said. 

“During the 2020 shutdowns, some states deemed big chain stores as ‘essential’ businesses that could remain open simply because they happened to sell groceries as well as clothes, but local clothing stores had to close because they didn’t also happen to sell groceries, and that’s not fair.

“Organizations that ignore the rules should be held accountable, but as long as the government can provide a clear pathway so they can remain open or open safely, they should be allowed to do so,” Humphrey said. “That’s why we’re asking the Senate to vote ‘yes’ on SB200 and the House to pass HB468.”

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