NFIB Thanks Indiana Legislators for Passing Important Small Business Legislation
Indiana legislators wrapped up the 2021 legislative session after a successful three plus months passing several bills that will help Indiana small business owners recover from the coronavirus health and economic crisis.
“Small business owners across the state thank lawmakers for working hard during this unpredictable time to pass important small business bills. In fact, 2021 is one of the best sessions for small business in recent memory. As small businesses continue to reopen, rehire, and rejuvenate the economy, they are grateful that the numbers of onerous mandates and job killing taxes have been decreased,” said NFIB State Director in Indiana, Barbara Quandt. “Anytime we can reduce the burden on small business owners, the result benefits Indiana’s economy: small business owners can stop filling out pointless paperwork and focus on creating jobs and hiring Hoosiers.”
Here are the top small business backed bills of 2021:
LIABILITY PROTECTION FROM FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS
SB 1 Civil Immunity Related to COVID-19: This legislation, authored by NFIB member, Senator Mark Messmer of Jasper, Indiana, provides:
- Civil immunity for damages resulting from exposure of an individual to COVID-19 on the premises of a business.
- It defines “COVID-19 protective product” and provides civil immunity for harm that results from the design, manufacture, labeling, sale, distribution, or donation of a COVID-19 protective product with the exception for an act or omission that constitutes gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct (including fraud and intentionally tortious acts).
- This legislation limits specified immunities to tort actions. Additionally, it exempts fraud and willful misconduct by a business.
BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX REFORM
SB 336 Assessment and Tax Exemptions
This legislation, authored by NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award winner, Senator Aaron Freeman of Indianapolis, provides:
- That the threshold for the Business Personal Property Tax Small Business Exemption will increase from $40,000 to $80,000 based on acquisition cost.
- This update of the Business Personal Tax Small Exemption will allow approximately 35,000 additional small businesses in Indiana to qualify for the exemption.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE TRUST FUND REFORM
HB 1152 Unemployment Insurance
This legislation, authored by former small business owner, Representative Dan Leonard does the following:
- Tightens up protections against unemployment fraud.
- Clarifies provisions concerning the overpayment of unemployment benefits resulting from fraud or failure to disclose wages and the forfeiture of benefits or wage credits.
EXPANSION OF BROADBAND SERVICE TO UNDERSERVED AREAS OF INDIANA
SB 377 Broadband Development
Authored by NFIB member, Senator Andy Zay of Huntington, Indiana, this legislation:
- Establishes the Indiana broadband expansion fund for deposit and distribution of federal broadband funding.
- Provides that Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) administers the fund.
- Requires OCRA to establish a public broadband portal through which an individual may report broadband is either slow or unavailable or that the individual is unable to afford the service.
PANDEMIC RECESSION HELP FOR HOOSIER SMALL BUSINESS
HB 1004 Small Business Restart Grant Program
This legislation establishes the Hoosier Hospitality Small Business Restart Grant Program to provide grants to eligible entities to accelerate economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Establishes the small business restart grant fund.
- Provides that the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) administers the program and fund. Provides criteria for grants. Allows the corporation to award grants from the fund.
- Here’s more information on the Restart Grant program.