Peterson Announces Senate Passes Bill Protecting Small Businesses from Shutdowns

COLUMBUS—State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) today announced the Senate unanimously passed legislation protecting Ohio’s small businesses from shutdowns during a health pandemic.

An amendment, added by the Senate yesterday to House Bill 609, will ensure Ohio’s small businesses are afforded the same protections as their larger competitors.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and of Ohio’s economy, and the economic shutdown last spring caused them a great deal of harm,” said Peterson. “It was unfair for them to be closed while their larger competitors were allowed to remain open. This legislation will protect our small businesses during a pandemic and allow them to operate safely.”

The amendment prohibits Ohio’s Department of Health from issuing any statewide order for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases that imposes different requirements or standards upon businesses which generally offer or sell the same products and services. The underlying legislation in House Bill 609 establishes a temporary tax amnesty program that would forgive interest and penalties on delinquent taxes and fees.

The amended bill as passed by the Senate this week now returns to the Ohio House of Representatives for concurrence.