While Californians struggle to shoulder the economic impacts of COVID-19, business owners are being asked to spend money and resources on compliance with new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) regulations when businesses need those resources to support their employees and communities.
Introducing new regulations at this time will harm small business owners who are struggling today as a result of a force majeure.
For this reason, more than 60 organizations representing thousands of businesses that employ millions of Californians have come together in a joint industry effort to request in a letter their Attorney General’s support during this time.
More Time Needed
This is not the first time that businesses have asked the Attorney General to delay enforcement of CCPA regulations. Businesses have been asking for additional time to digest these complex new regulations for months—even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The impending July 1 deadline was already threatening business owners with enforcement actions for failure to comply with regulations by that date. But as of the date of this article, there are still no regulations with which to comply.
Combine this short compliance timeline and a sudden economic downturn, the letter argues, and the request to delay enforcement of these regulations becomes more pressing now than ever. Businesses need more time to educate themselves on the new regulations and figure out how they will afford the costs of compliance.
Six-Month Delay Requested
In the early stages of the rulemaking process, the Attorney General collaborated with Berkeley Economic Advising and Research, LLC to prepare a required Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (SRIA) for CCPA regulations.
The SRIA estimated the total cost of initial compliance with the CCPA to be approximately $55 billion, the equivalent to approximately 1.8% of California gross state product in 2018.
Taxing California’s business owners in this way, particularly during an economic downturn, takes resources away from more pressing commitments that businesses have to their employees and their communities. As is apparent in all of our neighborhoods today, California’s local business owners are the ones who are suffering most during this downturn.
By foregoing enforcement for an additional six months, industries plead, the Attorney General can help to relieve some of that economic suffering today.
The joint industry letter, signed by industries from virtually every sector of the economy, recognizes the tremendous burden that the Attorney General has shouldered in promulgating CCPA regulations for the state.
But not all businesses are equally resilient, and the current economic and social crisis warrants some consideration to the limitations that businesses face today: citizens are being directed to shelter in place, local governments are asking businesses to close, and the state has directed only essential businesses to remain open.
For these reasons, businesses across California jointly, and respectfully, are relying on their government for support. In the joint industry letter, businesses ask the Attorney General for his support by foregoing enforcement of CCPA regulations for an additional six months.