(Ohio Statehouse, Columbus) -- The Ohio Business Fairness Act, which supports the state’s small businesses, has been given final approval by state lawmakers.
House Bill 215 was developed by State Representatives Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) and Jon Cross (R-Kenton) after businesses were deemed “essential or non-essential.” Many times, allowing “big box” businesses to remain open while small family businesses were closed.
“Our goal was to make sure that businesses were being treated fairly and equitably,” Wilkin said. “After a discussion with a local business, it was obvious that they were not. This includes both larger and smaller businesses but in particular, it was crushing many of our small businesses and that is unacceptable. Small businesses play an essential role in our state’s economy, as well as our local communities. It is crucial that they receive the support they need.
The bill allows a business that has been required to limit or cease operations by certain health orders to continue operating if it can meet the same safety requirements as businesses not required to limit or cease operations.
In other words, Wilkin said, a fair, level playing field for all businesses.
The legislation has garnered strong bipartisan support in the legislature and cleared the Senate this week by a vote of 31-0. It now goes to the desk of Governor Mike DeWine. Governor DeWine, in addressing the NFIB, indicated his support for the bill and willingness to sign it.
The measure is one of many lawmakers have adopted since the arrival of COVID-19 to support and protect the state’s businesses, schools and communities.
State Representative Shane Wilkin is serving his second term in the Ohio House of Representatives after being appointed during the 132nd General Assembly. He represents the 91st Ohio House District, serving residents of Clinton, Highland, and Pike counties, as well as residents in a portion of Ross County.