Reporting Names of Small Business With COVID-19 Cases Nothing More Than Public Shaming
NFIB, or the National Federation of Independent Business, which has thousands of small businesses across Kansas, is strongly urging the governor not to release the names of small businesses with reported COVID-19 cases. While we all want to curb the spread of COVID-19, NFIB is concerned with the reputational and financial damage it could cause thousands of struggling small business owners in Kansas.
Starting today, The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will release weekly reports that contain the information on COVID-19 outbreaks. It will also include the number of cases associated with each cluster.
“Right now is not the time to expose struggling small business owners here in Kansas to more harm,” said NFIB State Director in Kansas, Dan Murray. “Our small business owners are working tirelessly to re-open their businesses to customers and employees in a safe way. Most are doing everything they can to stop the spread of coronavirus. They shouldn’t have to worry about the bad press and possible financial ruin that comes with being associated with COVID-19 cases. There’s no way to know if that person got COVID-19 at that small business. Why does the state want to punish that small business owner?”
Identifying the names of small businesses that had employees or customers who tested positive for COVID-19 gives the false impression that the employees or customers got the virus at their place of work or at a small business location. However, that is impossible to know.
Small business owners are already struggling to recover from mandated government closures. There’s no need to add insult to injury and single out and embarrass small businesses. There’s also concern that Kansans will see the list and employees will believe it is unsafe to return to work even when small businesses are following CDC and state recommendations to stop the spread of COVID-19. What the governor should focus on instead, is encouraging safe economic activity so that we can get Kansas’ economy back on track. Here is a list of the five key principles NFIB believes Congress should enact as small business owners move into the next phase and work to recover from the coronavirus crisis.