As a result of the Governor’s efforts to close all nonessential businesses in Pennsylvania due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there is some confusion over the definition of a nonessential business. The governor’s office attempted to clear up some of that confusion in a news release. According to the governor’s office:

Nonessential businesses include public-facing industries such as entertainment, hospitality, and recreation facilities, including but not limited to community and recreation centers; gyms, including yoga, barre and spin facilities; hair salons and barber shops, nail salons and spas; casinos; concert venues; theaters; sporting event venues and golf courses; retail facilities, including shopping malls except for pharmacy or other health care facilities within retail operations.

Restaurants and bars are prohibited from dine-in services or drinking inside the establishment, but can remain open for carryout, delivery, and drive-through business.

Here’s what is considered an “essential” business:

Essential services and sectors include but are not limited to food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, grocery and household goods (including convenience stores), home repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices and shipping outlets, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging.

The governor’s office stated that other businesses such as legal services, consulting, insurance, and professional services should have employees telecommute or, if not possible, employ social distancing practices and not have gatherings of 10 or more people, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend.

At this stage, Governor Wolf said he hopes businesses will act voluntarily before it is determined that it is necessary to compel closures under the law in the interests of public health.

Maiello, Brungo & Maiello, LLP will continue to monitor the developments at the local, state and federal level and will update our clients accordingly. In the meantime, if you have any questions or need to consult with one of our attorneys, please contact either Lawrence J. Maiello or John H. Prorok.

John H. Prorok
John Prorok

John Prorok possesses an invaluable understanding of privately held business owners’ needs in business planning, corporate formation, and transactions. He frequently speaks and counsels emerging and start‐up enterprises, offering insightful legal strategies toward success.