Ohio governor signs bill allowing small businesses to stay open during health emergencies

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineOhio election chief tests positive for COVID-19 Intel to build B Ohio factory amid chip shortage Ohio Supreme Court strikes down GOP-drawn congressional map MORE (R) signed a bill on Wednesday that will allow small businesses to stay open during health emergencies. 

The “Business Fairness Act” will allow small businesses to remain open during health emergencies as long as they can meet safety conditions. 

The bill was sponsored by Republican state Reps. Shane Wilkin and Jon Cross after bigger companies were allowed to stay open during the pandemic but smaller businesses were forced to close. 


“Ohio took the lead nationwide in working with businesses and industry leaders to help develop safe workplace guidelines and keep Ohioans working during the pandemic,” said DeWine.

“House Bill 215 reflects that business and employers can safely operate during a health emergency and affirms my commitment to working collaboratively with Ohio businesses to keep our economy strong as we emerge from this pandemic,” he added. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, most small businesses around the country were shut down in an attempt to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus. 

Business shutdowns became a contentious issue in 2020 as some saw it as a way to protect public health but others argued it only hurt families and small businesses.

The Ohio bill was supported by multiple business groups including the National Federation of Independent Businesses.