FISHERS, Ind. — Small business owners in Indiana are looking for some reassurance that their businesses will survive the coronavirus pandemic.
In a conference call with members of the NFIB of Indiana, an organization that represents Hoosier small businesses, Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) helps to try and alleviate some concerns. One of the biggest issues businesses are dealing with, according to Huston, is liability concerns of opening up.
Many business owners are concerned they could be held liable and be sued if they open up and then someone contracts coronavirus after visiting their business. The same applies to employees who return to work and then come down with the virus.
As House Democrats in Washington are pushing for another stimulus bill to be passed, Senate Republicans are saying there should be no more stimulus money given out unless there is something within the bill to better address liability coverage
Huston pointed out that they as state lawmakers are waiting to see if lawmakers in Washington will pass any legislation first.
“We’ll wait and see what the federal guys do,” he said. “I think we’ll know by June where the federal guys are on that. If not it’s something we’re going to have to lead on and we are fine leading on it.”
Huston said liability issues like this are likely going to be the “biggest hindrance” to the economy reopening in Indiana as more restrictions some state and local leaders are rolled back. He also said small businesses are not alone on this issue either.
“It was good that we got a letter from all the school corporations … they said this was their number one issue,” said Huston. “It’s not just the private sector, it’s the public sector too that recognizes this threat and it’s got to be addressed.”
Huston said he has “overwhelming confidence in employers that they are going to do whatever they can to protect employees and customers alike. But, he also acknowledges sometimes that’s not enough to protect them from a lawsuit.