Legal help coming for local businesses and restaurants

Local News

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Help is on the way for restaurants and businesses during the Pandemic.

The Florida Tax-Watch Group and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis are working on a bill proposal that would protect companies from being sued or taken to court over a COVID-19 spread.

“I think small business is the key to our local economy here, and it’s something that I think we should protect.” said Owner of Pit Stop BBQ, David Knighten.

Knighten says he likes the idea of the ‘Responsible Liability Shield Proposal’ spearheaded by Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis.

During the Monday morning news conference, Patronis emphasized the importance of this bill- saying small businesses are the backbone of the economy and the biggest job creators in the state.

“You should have some peace of mind that you’re not going to be open to some type of sue and settle environment of litigation,” said Patronis.

Patronis says local leaders have to hold legislators accountable.

“This is time for the Florida Legislature to act, and our citizens are looking for leadership from local government, from state government, federal government and this is exactly what our call to action is,” said Patronis.

He says this will go a long way in helping Florida’s economy get back on its feet.

“I want to give them some peace of mind, and doing nothing is not an option.” said Patronis.

Kim Steigler owns ‘The Place’ in Downtown Panama City and says this will benefit restaurants.

“Restaurants are held to a really high standard of cleanliness and more regulated regularly on things like that, so I love the idea of the bill. I certainly hope that no one would ever feel like they got it here from us, but I think it’s a great thing to help protect small business owners as well,” said Steigler.

CFO Patronis thinks this bill will move fast when the legislature meets again in March.

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