Wisconsin Small Business Win: Court Blocks Lawsuit from Governor to Name Businesses With COVID-19 Cases

Date: December 15, 2020

NFIB Supported the Lawsuit, Filed Amicus Brief

The National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center (NFIB SBLC) is proud to announce a big win for small business owners in Wisconsin: the amicus brief it filed on behalf of small business owners across the state of Wisconsin was blocked by the Waukesha Circuit Court. NFIB argued that Governor Evers’ actions to release the names of small businesses with employees testing positive for COVID-19 is not only illegal but would have taken a monumental toll on the financial health of small businesses in Wisconsin. Small business owners are already struggling from the impact of mandated shutdowns and closures.

“Wisconsin small business applauds the circuit court,” said NFIB State Director in Wisconsin, Bill G. Smith. “This is an important message to the governor. His actions to publish the names of small businesses with COVID-19 cases from moths ago does nothing to curb the spread of the virus. Small business owners are encouraged to hear that the court acknowledges that the governor’s actions are simply a finger pointing fear tactic.”

While the decision will surely be appealed, the ruling is a win for small business owners. If the governor is allowed to carry out his actions, small businesses across the state will shut down and thousands of Wisconsinites will lose their jobs.

The evidence is clear: small businesses across Wisconsin are greatly impacted by the health and economic crisis. The NFIB Research Center has been collecting information from small business owners since the pandemic hit. The most recent survey found that one-in-four small business owners will close their doors if economic conditions don’t improve. The same survey found that after using the PPP loan, 22% of borrowers have or anticipate having to lay off employees in the next six months, a slight increase from 19% a month ago.

NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center is a nonprofit, public interest law firm, established to provide legal resources and be the voice for small businesses in the nation’s courts through representation on issues of public interest affecting small businesses. NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, representing members in Washington D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a non-profit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of its members to own, operate, and grow their businesses. To fulfill its role as the voice for small business, the NFIB SBLC frequently files amicus briefs in cases that affect small businesses.

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