Small business owners in Illinois overwhelmingly support legislation protecting employers from overzealous trial attorneys seeing to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey of NFIB members throughout the state.
NFIB balloted its Illinois members before the start of the 2021 legislation session and found that 97.6% of those responding want the legislature to pass a measure protecting small businesses and other employers from frivolous and unmerited COVID-19 lawsuits.
“Small businesses are especially vulnerable to groundless claims even in the best of times, and these are hardly the best of times,” NFIB State Director Mark Grant said. “The pandemic has taken an enormous toll on small businesses. Illinois can’t afford to allow insatiable trial attorneys to target small businesses when they’re at their most vulnerable, especially when they’re following the rules and doing everything they can to keep customers and employees safe.”
Unlike other business groups, NFIB’s positions on public policy aren’t determined by a board of directors but are based solely on the position of a majority of its members as determined by its state and federal member ballots. The 2021 state ballot also showed that:
- 91.5% of members believe Illinois tax laws should be brought into alignment with federal law to stop the state from taxing forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Congress created PPP loans to help small businesses hurt financially by the pandemic.
- 78.7% believe the legislature should clarify the powers of a governor in declared emergencies.
- 78.4% say an employee who tests positive for COVID-19 should not automatically be compensated by workers’ comp.
“COVID-19 dominated the financial landscape in 2020 and is the single most important issue affecting Illinois small businesses in 2021,” Grant said. “Our members are sending a clear message to the House and Senate and Governor Pritzker: Do everything possible to help Illinois’ small businesses get through this unprecedented crisis and keep people working.”