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Ga. Senate passes small business, religious freedom bill

Businesses in small Georgia town find innovative ways to stay afloat during pandemic
Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 16:54:29-05

ATLANTA, Ga. (WTXL) — The Georgia Senate passed SB200 Friday, allowing small businesses and religious institutions to continue to operate during a public health emergency.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R – Dallas), related to emergency powers of the governor, so as to provide that certain business and religious institutions may continue or resume operations if in compliance with applicable safety procedures during certain states of emergency; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws, and for other purposes.

“During the pandemic, we’ve seen many businesses, especially small, locally owned businesses, permanently close because they could not withstand the financial impact of shutting down for weeks at a time,” said Sen. Anavitarte. “Additionally, we saw many people isolated from their communities, not being able to come together to worship when they needed to the most. SB 200 aims to protect our businesses and religious institutions in the event of a state of emergency and allow them to remain open and operational, so long as they follow the proper health and safety guidelines.

“While other states have not even given small businesses or churches, the opportunity to adapt their operations, SB 200 follows the intent of Governor Kemp’s executive orders to ensure our small businesses and churches have the opportunity to stay open, keep employees on the payroll, and continue to operate critical non-profit ministries,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan.

This legislation allows small businesses and religious institutions to operate while complying with health guidelines and the Governor’s executive orders throughout public health emergencies, such as COVID-19.

For more information about SB 200, click here.