TAMPA, Fla. — It could give local businesses a boost and keep the days a little bit longer this winter.
That's what Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio are sponsoring a U.S. Senate bill that would keep Florida and the nation on daylight saving time until November 2021.
What You Need To Know
- Sens. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio pushing to keep daylight saving time
- Scott and Rubio have sponsored a Senate bill
- READ THE BILL: Keep Daylight Saving through November 7, 2021
The senators cite the economic boost skipping the time change this fall would give to businesses as they reel from losses due to coronavirus restrictions.
Experts say daylight saving time generally increases consumer spending as more people shop, dine out and participate in local activities when it stays late longer into the evening.
Tampa Bay Business Journal Editor Alexis Muellner says although the increases that local businesses would see may be minimal with no time change, it could help business owners hit their bottom lines.
"The profit margins for small businesses, depending on what they do, can be so razor thin sometimes, that those small impacts can make a difference in terms of meeting a small payroll or being able to offset costs or debt, especially at time where they are really challenged with the results of the pandemic," Muellner said.
But Muellner agrees there is also a downside to daylight savings time in the winter, especially for children who would be walking and biking to school in the dark.
The Florida PTA has rallied against year-round daylight saving time.
"We have safety concerns for our children who ride buses and walk to school if daylight saving is extended all year," group President Jennifer Martinez said in a written statement. "Our position is that businesses can and would hopefully rebound, loss of life cannot rebound."
The Senate bill is a longshot, as the state of Florida has tried for years to do away with the time change. In past years, state proposals have fallen flat because they have not garnered any support from the federal government or Congress.
The bill proposed by Rubio and Scott seeks to keep daylight saving time in place until next fall nationwide.