Essential businesses exempt from state’s in-person restriction


Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order, all businesses and nonprofits by 8 p.m. on March 22 were ordered to reduce all in-person work at business locations by 100 percent — effectively telling all businesses to have employees telecommute if possible.

Excluded from that order are what the state has called “essential business or entities,” which are not subject to the in-person restriction.

The state Department of Economic Development laid out a list of 12 fields or businesses that are considered to be essential. While some businesses may have both essential and non-essential fields, “only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the restrictions,” the department said in a release.

Below are the fields considered to be essential and thereby exempt from the mandate limiting the in-person workforce:

  1. Essential health care operations:
  • Research and laboratory services
  • Hospitals
  • Walk-in-care health facilities
  • Emergency veterinary and livestock services
  • Eldercare
  • Medical wholesale and distribution
  • Home health care workers or aides for the elderly
  • Doctor and emergency dental
  • Nursing homes, residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
  • Medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers
  1. Essential infrastructure:
  • Utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
  • Public water and wastewater
  • Telecommunications and data centers
  • Airports/airlines
  • Transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages
  • Hotels, and places of accommodation
  1. Essential manufacturing:
  • Food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
  • Chemicals
  • Medical equipment/instruments
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Sanitary products
  • Telecommunications
  • Microelectronics/semi-conductor
  • Agriculture/farms
  • Household paper products
  1. Essential retail:
  • Grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Convenience stores
  • Farmer’s markets
  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • Hardware and building material stores
  1. Essential services:
  • Trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • Mail and shipping services
  • Laundromats
  • Building cleaning and maintenance
  • Child care services
  • Auto repair
  • Warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
  • Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • Storage for essential businesses
  • Animal shelters
  1. News media
  2. Financial Institutions:
  • Banks
  • Insurance
  • Payroll
  • Accounting
  • Services related to financial markets
  1. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations:
  • Homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
  • Food banks
  • Human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support
  1. Construction:
  • Skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers
  • Other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes
  1. Defense:
  • Defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government
  1. Essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses:
  • Law enforcement
  • Fire prevention and response
  • Building code enforcement
  • Security
  • Emergency management and response
  • Building cleaners or janitors
  • General maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
  • Automotive repair
  • Disinfection
  1. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services:
  • Logistics
  • Technology support for online services
  • Child care programs and services
  • Government-owned or leased buildings
  • Essential government services

If a business believes it is essential but is not listed above, it may request being added to an exempt list. Any single-employee business, like gas stations, are exempt automatically and do not need to request an exemption.

Even if a business is deemed essential, it is still requested that all employees engage in social distancing.

While houses of worship were not ordered to be closed, but it was strongly suggested by the state that no congregant services be held and social distancing maintained.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here