Loans and grants are fine to a point, opening up and liability protection would be better
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 7, 2021—The state director for California’s leading small-business association today predicted the continued historic high in job openings would stay that way until states like California allowed more small businesses to reopen and provide some liability protection against unfair COVID-19 lawsuits.
“Blessed are those small-business owners in states whose legislatures thought highly enough of them to give them some protection against unfair COVID-19 lawsuits, realizing, quite rightly, that the virus could have been contracted anywhere,” said John Kabateck, California state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.
Kabateck made his remark after seeing the latest, monthly Jobs Report issued by NFIB, his association. It showed the categories of ‘job openings’ and ’hiring plans’ still at alarming levels. And as for finding ‘qualified workers,’ forget about it.
“I commend Gov. Newsom for making small business a priority in his latest budget proposal with $575 million in grants,” said Kabateck, “but what good is the money if you can’t reopen your business and, when you can, are greeted by a lawyer who wants to slap you with a lawsuit over some employee’s or customer’s COVID claim that he or she contracted it from your place of business and nowhere else? We believe small businesses are not the drivers of COVID-19 spikes, social and family gatherings are. Our last survey of NFIB’s small-business-owning membership showed that one in four would not survive past six months if current economic conditions did not improve. We are in a race against time if we want the economy to rebound. Congress was of some help in opening up another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, now the California Legislature needs to do its part.”
According to one estimate, employers would need to spend between $75,000 and $125,000 defending themselves, and if he or she loses summary judgment can expect to spend a total of $175,000 to $250,000 to take a case to trial.
Keep up with the latest on California small-business news at www.nfib.com/california or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_CA or on Facebook @NFIB.CA.
For more than 77 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.