(INDIANAPOLIS) – This morning, NFIB hosted an informational webinar with Speaker Todd Huston. The Speaker connected with Indiana small business owners, giving them the latest information about how Indiana lawmakers are helping small business owners during this coronavirus crisis. The Speaker was joined by NFIB State Director in Indiana, Barbara Quandt. You can watch the webinar here.
Speaker Huston was sworn in as Speaker in early March – right before the coronavirus hit. He joked that his becoming Speaker and a worldwide pandemic hitting was a mere coincidence and not a correlation. On a serious note, however, Speaker Huston told Indiana small business owners that during this most trying of times, it is finally starting to feel like Indiana is moving forward.
“We’ve got to make sure we protect and strengthen our small businesses. Unfortunately, they were disproportionately hurt in this epidemic and we are all focused on how to do the very best we can to support all of you. That first and foremost starts with how can we get people comfortable and safe going outside their homes, return to work, and spend money. All of those things are critical next steps but we’re also trying to figure out how to use COVID related funds to support Main Street and our local businesses which are so important in our communities and are the driver in Indiana to economic growth,” said Speaker Todd Huston.
Speaker Huston also talked about an issue that has many small business owners worried and may come up in Indiana’s next legislative session: liability coverage. Speaker Huston said he’s been talking to Governor Holcomb about the issue, calling it one of the biggest hindrances to getting Indiana’s economy rolling again. Many small business owners in Indiana are worried about re-opening and inviting customers back inside their small businesses because they are worried about getting hit with a frivolous lawsuit. In a recent NFIB survey, virtually all small business owners said they are, to some degree, concerned about increases in liability claims, with 35% very concerned about increased liability when re-opening their business. You can read the full survey here.
Speaker Huston told NFIB members that he is closely watching what lawmakers in Washington D.C. are doing about the issue and said it may come up next session in Indiana if state lawmakers feel not enough was done to protect small business owners at the federal level.
“Small business owners in Indiana have enough on their plate right now without having to worry if they’re going to be slapped with a lawsuit,” said NFIB State Director in Indiana, Barbara Quandt. “Small business owners are doing everything they can right now to re-open with their customer and employee’s safety being their number one concern. Many of the businesses that have made it through this crisis are barely hanging on. What they need to do now is to concentrate on re-opening – not worry about the threat of someone hoping to take advantage of them through costly and unnecessary litigation.”