Saturday, February 20, 2021

Liability protections essential for small businesses should be in coronavirus compromise

...It is unfortunate that a policy that could make such a critical difference for small businesses across the country is not unanimously supported.

It's unquestionable that small businesses are suffering badly. CNN recently reported that 10,000 restaurants in the United States are expected to close, and 17% of the total restaurants in the country have closed already. Temporary closures are becoming permanent. Some businesses are even resorting to establishing GoFundMe pages in hopes of collecting enough donations to survive. While these statistics make clear how small businesses are struggling, it is impossible to quantify the damage done to the families who have spent generations of hard work to build a successful business. Or the entrepreneurs who took the risk to create something for themselves, only to have it all torn out from underneath them due to no fault of their own....

At the very least, Congress could provide businesses with the assurance that they will not be forced to close their doors due to fighting costly, frivolous lawsuits. And reasonable liability protections could provide them that. These protections should be for those businesses who implemented precautions that keep their employees and customers safe and who worked hard to abide by constantly changing local, state, and federal regulations.

No one is asking for bad actors to be protected, but businesses that are working hard to protect their customers and employees while trying to stay afloat deserve the certainty of knowing that an unfounded lawsuit won’t put them out of business for good. Leaders of both parties, including Sens. Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell and Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy, need to come together and get this done.