NFIB and Small Business Made Voice Heard, Helped Revoke Workplace Restrictions
NFIB, or the National Federation of Independent Business, is thankful for the recent vote by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Worker Safety Board to remove unnecessary COVID-19 workplace restrictions evaluated the current COVID-19 infections in Virginia and decided that the COVID-19 virus no longer poses a grave danger to Virginians.
Small businesses experienced intense stress as their businesses were ordered to close or operate in an extremely limited capacity. Two years later, small businesses are still facing difficulties in hiring people, confronting rising inflation and disruptions in their supply chains.
NFIB, with more than 8,000 members in the Commonwealth, has been a key player on the issue, testifying at recent meetings and reassuring the board how small business owners feel on the issue. Below are quotes from NIFB State Director in Virginia, Julia Hammond.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the safety of employees and customers has been the top priority for our small business members.
Despite these challenging times, small businesses diligently worked to keep their companies and workplaces updated with the most current COVID-19 protocols to ensure they were doing everything possible to protect their employees, customers, and clients.
Twenty three months later with enhanced safety protocols in place and increased vaccination rates NFIB reiterates our position that the Board should repeal the Permanent Standard and remove a static regulatory burden for a pandemic that is temporary in nature. There is no evidence that these regulations provided any additional protections not covered by the current CDC and OSHA guidance. Forty five states have proven that the current CDC and OSHA guidance are enough to protect employees and customers and that Virginia is over-regulating.
Permanent regulations are especially overly burdensome, costly and confusing for small business owners who have no in-house HR Director, attorney or compliance officer. They implemented these regulations themselves while they try to rebuild their businesses.”
The latest move by the board fits in with what NFIB has been advocating for since the beginning of Virginia’s legislative session with its Small Business Recovery Program and a sensible way forward to help ensure Virginia’s small businesses have the resources they need to move forward during the recovery.
- Most small business owners reported that their local economy remains below pre-crisis levels of economic activity.
- 27% believe it will be the second half of 2022 before economic conditions return to pre-crisis levels.
- 39% of small business owners are less optimistic and expect conditions not to fully improve until 2023 or later.
- When asked if supply chain disruptions are impacting their business, about half (47%) of small business owners reported a significant impact, basically unchanged from early September.
- The labor shortage is the other significant challenge facing many small employers. 23% of small employers are currently experiencing a significant staffing shortage and another 20% are currently experiencing a moderate staffing shortage.