Today, State Rep. Gail Pavliga (R-Portage County) and the Ohio House 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’ve seen so many of our local businesses and shops that have faced ramifications from shutdowns,” said Pavliga. “This bill will help enact, moving forward, that as long as safety guidelines are met then our local businesses can continue to thrive just like any large retailer.”
Pavliga 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.