Apr. 21, 2021
Bill would enable small businesses to operate during state disasters
HARRISBURG – The state House today in Harrisburg approved in a bipartisan vote legislation known as the One Staffer-One Shopper Bill, which was introduced by state Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford/Erie) to enable small businesses to continue operating during state disasters.
“My One Staffer-One Shopper Bill would protect the health and safety of Pennsylvania customers by enabling them to make purchases at small retail stores during future disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic,” Roae said. “There’s safety in small numbers, and my One Staffer-One Shopper Bill would enable Pennsylvanians to take advantage of that safety.”
Roae’s bill would enable small retail stores to open during future disasters if they limit interaction between customers and employees to one staffer interacting with one shopper in the store at any given time. Roae’s proposal also would allow small retailers to provide curbside pickup service instead of opening their stores to customers.
Roae initially introduced the One Staffer-One Shopper Bill last year after Gov. Tom Wolf unilaterally shut down most small businesses across Pennsylvania during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wolf’s order was criticized because it shut down small businesses while allowing big box stores to continue operating and serving customers. Wolf’s administration also provided exemptions for some small businesses, but never fully identified the criteria it used to decide which small businesses could remain open. He also initially enabled state-run liquor stores to offer curbside pickup service, but did not allow small businesses to offer the same service.
“The governor’s restrictions prevented customers from going to a small retail store, where they might interact with one person – the cashier – and instead sent them to big box stores where they’d come in contact with dozens or even hundreds of people,” Roae said. “From a public health and safety perspective, my One Staffer-One Shopper Bill is a matter of common sense.”
Roae initially introduced his One Staffer-One Shopper legislation as House Bill 2376 in the beginning of April 2020. The bill was approved by the full House on April 21, 2020. The Senate failed to act on the bill and, when the legislative session ended last November, all bills that hadn’t been signed into law needed to be reintroduced when the new session started in January.
Roae’s newly reintroduced version of the legislation – House Bill 747
– now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
More information about Roae is available by visiting his website at RepRoae.com
and following him on Facebook at Facebook.com/RepRoae
Representative Brad Roae
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing