Sound Policy Leads Business Response to COVID-19

June 5, 2020 | COVID-19 crisis JD Davis, Vice President, Public Policy, ABI,

Uncertainly is what business leaders fear most. And COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty. As business and industry moves forward, one thing is certain: Sound policy must lead the response.

It’s the job of policymakers and advocacy groups to identify the risks and barriers to getting business back on track, employing Iowans, and producing goods and services.

At ABI, we’re taking that challenge head-on. And we’re glad to do so on your behalf. We seek to solve problems and create certainty so you can do what you do best: employ people, deploy resources and make value-added products, and create wealth that’s shared with Iowans through higher standards of living.

The coronavirus presents a new set of problems. New solutions will lead our members to once again employ, deploy and create value. These are among the policy initiatives that will help lead to a certain recovery, and ABI wants these facts addressed in public policy:

To employ and manage a workforce, businesses must be sure that if recommended precautions are taken, those businesses will not be held liable for the spread of infection among employees that is transmitting freely throughout our communities. The workplace is just one place the virus may be encountered.

Public-facing businesses must have the same protection from incidental spread among their patrons, clientele and customers. Once community spread is established, by definition, these infections could have occurred anywhere in the community.

Lastly, large numbers of ABI members have responded to need during the pandemic by switching production lines almost overnight to manufacture personal protective equipment to protect vulnerable frontline health care workers and employees. If these products were made to specifications known at the time to be safe, these manufacturers should not be second-guessed after the fact with product liability claims.

Please call upon ABI staff as we continue to seek clarity in moving Iowa forward. We are here to help in any way we can.