State Rep. Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland) and the Ohio House overwhelmingly approved House Bill 215. The legislation allows any business that complies with safety standards from government orders or regulations to stay open.
The measure, known as the Business Fairness Act, provides businesses with stability and ease of mind in the future by ensuring all businesses are deemed essential. It promotes competitive fairness among big and small businesses by giving any business the ability to maintain operations during a public health emergency.
“We must ensure parity between our local small businesses and large retailer stores for the future,” said Grendell. “If any types of future shutdowns were to happen, the Business Fairness Act codifies that as long as safety guidelines are met then our local shops have every right to stay open just like big businesses were able to last year.”
Grendell acknowledges that during the statewide shutdown, large retailers were allowed to have many people in their stores daily. However, locally owned businesses selling the same types of products were forced to close.
The bill was originally introduced last year as House Bill 621 and passed the Ohio House with bipartisan support.
House Bill 215 now moves to the Senate for consideration.