Small Business Groups Urge Federal Appeals Court to Uphold Administration's Employer Vaccine Requirement
National groups, representing more than 135,000 small and independent businesses and organizations, filed an amicus brief in favor of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s employer vaccine rule.
Washington, D.C. - On Tuesday, December 7, Small Business Majority, alongside small business owner Mary Sue Milliken and the American Independent Business Alliance, filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emergency order directing larger employers to take steps to keep their workplaces safe from COVID-19 by either requiring vaccinations or weekly testing and masks for those who are not vaccinated.
For almost two years, small businesses around the country have endured a public health crisis that closed thousands of businesses and put thousands more on the brink of falling off a financial cliff. Amid the surge of the Delta variant, more than half reported declining business conditions and consumer demands due to the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, 45% of small business owners polled shared that as coronavirus cases rose, their customers and/or employees expressed safety concerns.
“As a small business owner with more than 100 employees, my business partner, Susan Feniger, and I feel a tremendous responsibility to keep our employees and community safe while providing the high level of service our customers expect and deserve,” said Mary Sue Milliken, Co-Chef and Owner of BBQ Mexicana, Border Grill, Pacha Mamas and Socalo located in Calif. and Nev.
“We know that a universal vaccine mandate is the right move to slow the spread of the coronavirus and lessen business disruptions, not just for our business, but for all businesses throughout the country. We are relieved by President Biden’s decision to propose a vaccine mandate rule, and we hope the courts uphold the administration’s vaccination order that will help ensure a resilient recovery under the threats of new coronavirus variants,” said Susan Feniger, Co-Chef and Owner of BBQ Mexicana, Border Grill, Pacha Mamas and Socalo located in Calif. and Nev.
The emergence of new variants are threatening to once again disrupt small business operations that account for more than 40% of U.S. economic activity and more than two-thirds of U.S. job creation. The vaccine mandate to be enacted by OSHA is necessary to protect not only the growth of the U.S. economy but also the health of millions of American small businesses and workers. The rule would ensure that two-thirds of the workforce – over 100 million Americans – are either vaccinated against, or negative for, COVID-19, protecting the health and vitality of local businesses and their communities.
Contrary to some news coverage, our polling shows that most small businesses support vaccine requirements at public-facing businesses. In September 2021, 36% of small businesses had already required all or some of their employees to be vaccinated, and 21% considered doing so. Furthermore, our forthcoming data reveals that a majority of small businesses support President Biden’s vaccine mandate and/or regular testing for employees at larger companies.
“The rule requires employers to protect their workers from exposure to a virus which we know can be controlled using vaccinations that have been heavily researched. Small businesses recognize that widespread vaccination is the path to ending the pandemic and revitalizing the economy. Time and again, small business owners have identified vaccinations as the biggest keys to successfully restoring pre-pandemic economic conditions. To achieve that level of success, we urge the court to uphold the administration’s vaccination order and send a message that protecting the safety and health of our country’s economic engine is important,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority.
Read the amicus brief here.
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority is a national small business organization that empowers America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and equitable economy. We engage our network of more than 85,000 small businesses and 1,500 business and community organizations to advocate for public policy solutions and deliver resources to entrepreneurs that promote equitable small business growth. Our deep connections with the small business community along with our scientific research enable us to educate the public about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on advancing the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequalities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.