South Carolina Small Business Bill of Rights

Current state law says businesses and individuals can be held financially liable even if they are only marginally responsible. If a trial lawyer decides a small business owner has a large amount of money, there is a good chance they will have to pay more in damages than the party that is primarily to blame. This situation essentially functions as a hidden tax on all South Carolinians, as the threat of civil litigation contributes to increased insurance costs, prompting businesses to raise prices to offset these additional expenses.

This bill changes the calculation of the maximum benefits to depend upon the seasonal adjusted statewide unemployment rate for the most recent six-month period. The new amount of maximum benefits would range from 12 weeks of benefits when the unemployment rate is equal to or under 5.5 percent to 20 weeks of benefits when the unemployment rate is above 9.0 percent, which will result in fewer benefits paid when the unemployment rate is lower. This bill will apply to unemployment insurance claims with an effective date on or after October 1, 2024.

This bill is a legislative attempt to revise the criminal offense of retail theft to create new categories of crimes – felony organized retail crime and felony organized retail crime of an aggravated nature. The bill aims to address organized theft and safeguard stores from financial losses.

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