Ohio House passes bill that would prevent businesses from being forced to close during coronavirus crisis

Ohio House passes bill that would prevent businesses from being forced to close during coronavirus crisis
FILE - In this April 29, 2020 file photo, a man walks past a closed business in Shaker Heights, Ohio. (Source: AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Members of the Ohio House of Representatives voted to approve legislation that, if passed, would prevent the future forced closures of businesses if directed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Bill 621, or the Business Fairness Act, would permit any business that can comply with safety standards from government regulations to remain open and maintain operations, declaring them essential during a public health emergency and immune from shutdown or curfew.

The Business Fairness Act was introduced in May by Republican State Reps. Jon Cross and Shane Wilkin.

“All businesses are essential and deserve a chance to fairly compete during the pandemic,” said State Rep. Cross. “It is unfair large retail chains are able to keep their doors open while small businesses are getting crushed.”

The legislation was approved by an Ohio House vote of 77-10 and now heads to the state Senate.

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