SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A leading small business group in Illinois said President Joe Biden’s mandate to require COVID-19 vaccination or regular testing will be costly and burdensome, compounding ongoing labor problems.
Biden announced on Thursday vaccine mandates for federal workers. He also said private businesses with more than 100 employees must require the vaccine.
Conveying the National Federation of Independent Business’ reaction, NFIB state Director Mark Grant said the organization continues to review the impacts, including requiring private employers to give paid time off for those getting the vaccine.
“The businesses that could be subject to the costly and burdensome [mandates] include many small businesses the president’s plan noted ‘create two-thirds of net new jobs and employ nearly half of America’s private workforce,’” Grant said.
This will add to the ongoing challenges amid the pandemic, he said.
“Small businesses face daily challenges from pandemic requirements, locating qualified workers, rampant inflation and supply chain disruption,” Grant said.
Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Maisch told ABC 7 in Chicago it’s already difficult for job creators to find employees, and Biden’s mandate could make that worse.
Grant said requiring businesses to test regularly for those that don’t get the vaccine and providing paid time off for those that do get the shot will cost.
“Additional mandates, enforcement and penalties will continue to further threaten small business recovery,” Grant said.
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, said people are ready to put the pandemic behind them, but he said that can only happen with unvaccinated people “take responsibility and do the right thing to protect themselves, their families and their communities.”
“I fully support President Biden’s decision to require vaccination for federal workers and federal contractors, as well as mandating businesses with more than 100 employees ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or institute weekly testing requirements,” Foster said. “Not only will this help protect vaccinated workers at the workplace, it will help reduce the spread of COVID in communities large and small.”
“They are our way out of this pandemic,” Foster said.
Lawsuits against Biden’s mandate are expected.
Biden’s plan also calls on local governments to give $100 of federal taxpayer grants to people who get vaccinated.