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Senate Committee Approves Small Business Fairness Act

The Small Business Fairness Act (SB 430), introduced by Senator Andreas Borgeas (R–Fresno), was approved by the Senate Business and Professions Committee with a 12-0 vote. The Small Business Fairness Act is part of Senator Borgeas’ Economic Recovery Package, which includes SB 74 and SB 265.

Senate Bill 430 requires state agencies to work with small businesses and establish policies to waive or reduce civil penalties and fines for small businesses. Senator Borgeas, who has been a staunch advocate for helping small businesses during the pandemic, says the bill will help struggling businesses with the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Small businesses and their employees are an essential part of our economy,” said Senator Borgeas. “The state of California must do everything in its power to help them recover as they struggle to survive from this pandemic-induced recession. Waiving and reducing fines for small businesses is a significant step on the pathway to economic recovery.”

SB 430 allows state agencies to express restraint in administering fines and requests state agencies continue their efforts in helping businesses interpret and implement State regulations. It also allows state agencies the discretion to consider the severity of a violation and the steps a business may have taken to comply before issuing a fine.

The bill has the support of the California Chamber of Commerce, United Chamber Advocacy Network, California Manufacturers and Technology Association, California Retailers Association, and California Association of Licensed Investigators.