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What is an Essential Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Businesses that are considered essential include manufacturers and distributors of food and beverages, healthcare providers, transporters of essential goods, and businesses that support critical infrastructure. In some states, only life-sustaining businesses can be open.

List of Essential Businesses as Outlined by CISA:

As a guide, the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) provided an outline of critical infrastructure industries.

Industries that support these businesses by manufacturing, transporting, or providing services or goods are also considered to be essential.

1. Healthcare and public health:

  • Healthcare providers (including dentists, physical therapists, and psychologists).
  • Clinical research.
  • Hospitals.
  • Medical and biomedical facilities (blood banks, clinics, hospices, nursing care facilities, and other facilities that manage this category of service).
  • Medical supply manufacturing.
  • Public health communication.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Deathcare facilities (including mortuaries, funeral homes, and crematoriums).

2. Law enforcement, public safety, and other first responders:

  • Emergency management.
  • Law enforcement.
  • 911 call centers.
  • Firearm and ammunition manufacturing and distribution.
  • Uniform manufacturing and distribution.
  • Equipment manufacturing and distribution.
  • Public agency work (responding to abuse and neglect of children, elders, and dependent adults).
  • Weather disaster response.
  • Security.

3. Food and agriculture:

  • Grocery stores.
  • Restaurants (take-out or delivery orders only).
  • Pet food stores.
  • Convenience stores.
  • Food manufacturing and distribution (including manufacturers of human food, animal food, food packaging, and beverages).
  • Farms (including farms that provide human or animal food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and food for domestic use and export).
  • Sanitation and pest control providers.
  • Butcheries.
  • Fiber and forest farms.
  • Farming equipment repair and maintenance providers.

4. Water and wastewater:

  • Wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Wastewater collection facilities.
  • Water distribution and testing facilities.
  • Chemical and equipment suppliers.

5. Transportation and logistics:

  • Public transportation services like buses, trains, taxis, and ferries.
  • Auto repair shops.
  • Businesses that repair or maintain transportation services.
  • Providers of transportation for essential goods like food, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, fuel, water, chemicals, etc.
  • Warehouses that store essential goods like food, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, fuel, water, chemicals, etc.
  • Businesses that support warehouses with sanitation services, refrigeration services, administration, etc.
  • Vehicle rental services.
  • Providers of maritime transportation.
  • Businesses that support maritime transportation with sanitation services, maintenance, operations, etc.
  • Manufacturers of transportation equipment and parts.
  • Transportation safety inspectors.
  • Manufacturers of packaging materials.
  • Air transportation services.
  • Businesses that support air transportation like air traffic control, sanitation, food preparation, and security.

6. Public works and infrastructure support services:

  • Businesses that sanitize, repair, maintain or inspect infrastructure like dams, bridges, water and wastewater mains, etc.
  • Tradespeople like HVAC technicians, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and contractors.
  • Businesses that provide services like sanitation, repair, maintenance, food preparation, and essential operation to residences, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, senior living facilities, etc.
  • Businesses that remove or store solid or hazardous waste.

7. Communications and information technology:

  • Businesses that maintain the infrastructure of call-centers, wireline and wireless providers, cable service providers, satellite operations, Internet Exchange Points, Points of Presence, and Network Access Points.
  • Manufacturers and distributors of communications equipment.
  • News providers.
  • Network Operations staff.
  • Businesses that repair or maintain communication facilities.
  • Businesses that provide support or equipment for remote work.
  • Customer service providers.
  • Datacenter operators for all industries.
  • Cybersecurity providers.

8. Other community or government-based operations and essential functions:

  • Construction services.
  • Businesses that support construction through security, sanitation, inspection, or manufacturing of supplies.
  • Elections personnel.
  • The judicial system.
  • Businesses that support the judicial system.
  • News providers.
  • Businesses that support news providers.
  • Weather forecasters.
  • Businesses that provide vetting and credentialing for essential workers.
  • Customs and immigration workers.
  • Educational institutions that support online learning.
  • Real estate services.
  • Businesses that support the supply chain to COVID-19 relief efforts.

9. Critical manufacturing:

  • Manufacturers of metals (including steel and aluminum), industrial minerals, and semiconductors.
  • Manufacturers of products for medical supply chains, and for supply chains associated with critical infrastructure.
  • Manufacturers of medical supplies and equipment.
  • Businesses that support the chain supply of medical equipment manufacturers.

10. Hazardous materials:

Businesses that manage or dispose of hazardous materials associated with critical infrastructure.

11. Financial services:

  • Banks.
  • Debt counseling and management services.
  • Manufacturers of debit and credit cards.
  • Point of sale support services for essential workers.

12. Chemical:

  • Businesses supporting the chemical and industrial gas supply chains.
  • Transportation services for chemicals.
  • Manufacturers of protective cleaning and medical solutions, personal protective equipment, disinfectants, fragrances, and protective packaging.
  • Manufacturers and distributors of chlorine and alkali manufacturing, single-use plastics, and protective packaging.

13. Defense and industrial base:

  • Businesses that support essential services required to meet national security commitments.
  • Manufacturers of firearms and equipment needed by the armed forces.

14. Commercial facilities:

  • Businesses that support the supply chain of materials used for construction.
  • Hardware stores.
  • Appliance stores.
  • Businesses that repair or maintain HVAC systems, boilers, furnaces, and other heating, cooling, refrigeration, and ventilation equipment.

15. Residential/shelter facilities and services:

  • Businesses that support dependent groups or individuals like rehabilitation centers or elderly care facilities.
  • Businesses that support shelters and other in-need groups.
  • Animal shelters.
  • Real estate businesses.
  • Construction.

16. Hygiene:

  • Manufacturers of hygiene products.
  • Businesses that support hygiene manufacturers.
  • Sanitation and cleaning services.

17. Energy:

  • Nuclear, fossil, hydroelectric, or renewable energy support (engineering, administration, and cybersecurity).
  • Infrastructure support (IT and OT technology, engineering, data management, and cybersecurity).
  • Construction, manufacturing, transportation, distribution, maintenance, management, and monitoring of wind, solar, biomass, hydrogen, ocean, geothermal, and/or hydroelectric energy.
  • Security for nuclear refueling operations.
  • Waste management.
  • Environmental remediation/monitoring (immediate critical needs technicians only).

Essential Energy Sectors:

Electricity

All manufacturers, engineers, distributors, transporters, managers, and support systems for the electricity industry.

Petroleum

All businesses involved in drilling, maintenance and repairs, transportation, processing, waste management, engineering, distribution, and maritime navigation for crude oil, petroleum, and petroleum products.

Natural Gas, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), Propane, and other liquid fuels

All businesses involved in drilling, maintenance and repairs, transportation, processing, waste management, engineering, distribution, and maritime navigation for natural gas, propane, natural gas liquids, and other liquid fuel.

Critical Infrastructure:

Critical infrastructure includes all systems and assets that society would not function without. For example, systems that support public health, security, agriculture, and the economy.

The following falls under the category of critical infrastructure:

  • Medical supplies.
  • Transportation of essential cargo (fuel, medical supplies, food, etc.).
  • Energy production and distribution.
  • Communications (news providers, internet services, cell service providers, etc.).
  • Food and agriculture.
  • Emergency services.
  • Maintenance and management of water treatment, dams, and sewage treatment facilities.
  • Maintenance and management of nuclear plants.
  • The military and police force.

List of Essential Businesses by State:

Alabama:

  • Retail stores.
  • Gyms.
  • Spas.
  • Restaurants, bars, and breweries.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Entertainment venues.

Alaska:

  • Places of worship.
  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Bars.
  • Theaters.
  • Museums.
  • Gyms.
  • Pools.

Arizona:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Salons, barbershops, and spas.
  • Places of worship.
  • Casinos.
  • Pools.

Arkansas:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Bars.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Theaters.
  • Museums.
  • Casinos.
  • Gyms.
  • Pools.

California:

  • Grocery stores.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Gyms.
  • Salons and spas.
  • Places of worship.
  • Medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Restaurants (take-out or delivery only).
  • Power plants.
  • Water and wastewater facilities.
  • Transportation and logistics services.
  • Communication and technology services.
  • Security.
  • Law enforcement.
  • Hardware stores.
  • Professional services like lawyers and accountants.
  • Childcare facilities.
  • Banks and financial institutions.

Colorado:

  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Grocery stores and produce stands.
  • Gas stations.
  • Restaurants (take-out or delivery only).
  • Places of worship.
  • Gyms.
  • Salons and spas.
  • Medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Liquor stores.
  • Firearm stores.
  • Hardware supply stores.
  • Childcare facilities.
  • Car rental services and auto repair stores.
  • Laundry services.
  • Deathcare services.
  • News providers.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Construction.

Connecticut:

  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Home-based caregivers.
  • Medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Transportation services.
  • Hotels and motels.
  • Restaurants (take-out or delivery only).
  • Gas stations.
  • Grocery stores, convenience stores, farmer's markets, and Big Box stores.
  • Retail stores.
  • Firearm stores.
  • Liquor stores.
  • Hardware stores.
  • Nurseries and greenhouses.
  • Professional services like lawyers and accountants.
  • Childcare facilities.
  • Auto repair shops.
  • Deathcare facilities.
  • Laundry services.
  • Postal and delivery services.
  • News providers.
  • Places of worship.
  • Food banks.
  • Tradespeople like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators.
  • Construction.
  • Gyms.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Tattoo parlors.

Delaware:

  • Retail stores.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Grocery stores and convenience stores.
  • Firearm stores.
  • Care sales stores.
  • Liquor stores.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Transportation services.
  • Construction.
  • Gyms.
  • Casinos.
  • Barbershops, salons, and spas.
  • Theaters.
  • Places of worship.
  • Bars (in some areas).

District of Columbia:

  • Retail stores.
  • Hospitals, pharmacies, and medical facilities.
  • Restaurants (take-out or delivery only).
  • Places of worship.
  • Communication infrastructure and providers.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Gas stations.
  • Laundromats.
  • Auto repair shops.
  • Child care facilities.
  • Cinemas/movie theaters.
  • Gyms.
  • Salons.
  • Auditoriums.
  • Spas.
  • Barbershops.
  • Tattoo parlors.
  • Bowling alleys.

Florida:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Salons and barbershops.
  • Spas.
  • Places of worship.
  • Museums.
  • Libraries.
  • Theaters.
  • Gyms.

Georgia:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Theaters.
  • Gyms.

Hawaii:

  • Retail stores.
  • Bars.
  • Places of worship.
  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Grocery stores, convenience stores, and supermarkets.
  • News providers.
  • Social services.
  • Gas stations.
  • Auto repair shops.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Hardware stores.
  • Tradespeople like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators.
  • Postal and delivery services.
  • Laundry services.
  • Restaurants (take-out or delivery only).
  • Transportation services.
  • Home-based caregivers.
  • Professional services like lawyers and accountants.
  • Childcare facilities (children of essential workers will be given priority).
  • Deathcare services.
  • Gyms.
  • Barbershops, salons, and spas.

Idaho:

  • Retail stores.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Hardware stores.
  • Laundry services.
  • Gas stations.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Essential government and state functions.
  • Childcare facilities (for children of essential workers).
  • Public safety services.
  • Law enforcement and first responders.
  • Hotels and motels.
  • News providers.
  • Restaurants.
  • Bars.
  • Hair salons.
  • Entertainment venues.
  • Gyms.
  • Places of worship.
  • Salons.
  • Spas.
  • Tattoo parlors.

Illinois:

  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Childcare facilities.
  • Retail stores.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Social services.
  • Restaurants (take-out or delivery only).
  • News providers.
  • Gas stations.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Hardware stores.
  • Tradespeople like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators.
  • Postal and delivery services.
  • Laundry services.
  • Home-based care services.
  • Professional services like lawyers and accountants.
  • Hotels and motels.
  • Deathcare facilities.
  • Entertainment venues.
  • Gyms.
  • Barbershops, salons, and spas.
  • Places of worship.

Indiana:

  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants (take-out or delivery only).
  • Social services.
  • Public safety services.
  • Law enforcement and first responders.
  • Religious entities.
  • News providers.
  • Gas stations.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Hardware stores.
  • Tradespeople like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators.
  • Postal and delivery services.
  • Laundry services.
  • Transport services.
  • Home-based caregivers.
  • Professional services like lawyers and accountants.
  • Hotels and motels.
  • Deathcare facilities.
  • Movie theaters.
  • Gyms.
  • Barbershops, salons, and spas.
  • Entertainment venues.
  • Casinos.

Iowa:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Bars.
  • Salons and barbershops.
  • Tattoo parlors.
  • Places of worship.
  • Theaters.
  • Museums.
  • Casinos.
  • Gyms.
  • Pools.

Kansas:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Bars.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Theaters.
  • Museums.
  • Casinos.
  • Nightclubs.
  • Gyms.
  • Pools.

Kentucky:

  • Retail stores.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Food banks.
  • Social services.
  • News providers.
  • Gas stations.
  • Auto repair shops.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Security services.
  • Tradespeople like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators.
  • Postal and delivery services.
  • Transportation services.
  • Professional services like lawyers and accountants.
  • Home-based caregivers.
  • Hotel and motels.
  • Deathcare facilities.

Louisiana:

  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Social services.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Grocery stores, convenience stores, and farmer's markets.
  • Restaurants (take-out or delivery only).
  • Gas stations.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Barbershops, salons, and spas.
  • Gyms.
  • Entertainment venues.

Maine:

  • Retail stores.
  • Auto repair shops.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Childcare facilities.
  • Restaurants and bars (take-out or delivery only).
  • Postal and delivery services.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Gas stations.
  • Laundry services.
  • Transporation services.
  • Hotels and motels.
  • Medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Gyms.
  • Barbershops, salons, and spas.
  • Tattoo parlors.

Maryland:

  • Retail stores.
  • Hospitals, pharmacies, and medical facilities.
  • Restaurants (take-out or delivery only).
  • Communication infrastructure and providers.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Gas stations.
  • Laundromats.
  • Auto repair shops.
  • Child care facilities.
  • Gyms.
  • Salons (by appointment only).
  • Auditoriums.
  • Spas.
  • Barbershops (by appointment only).
  • Tattoo parlors.
  • Bowling alleys.

Massachusetts:

  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Law enforcement and first responders.
  • Retail stores.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Restaurants (dine-in services).
  • Gas stations.
  • Transportation services.
  • Car rental services.
  • Postal and delivery services.
  • Tradespeople like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators.
  • Security services.
  • Childcare facilities.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Places of worship.
  • Aquariums.
  • Museums.
  • Theaters.

Michigan:

  • Retail stores.
  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Law enforcement and first responders.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Childcare facilities.
  • Insurance services.
  • Auto repair shops.
  • Hotels.
  • Restaurants.
  • Medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Gas stations.
  • Laundry services.
  • Places of worship.
  • Theaters.
  • Gyms.
  • Pools.

Minnesota:

  • Childcare facilities.
  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • News providers.
  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Gas stations.
  • Construction and trades like plumbers, technicians, and electricians.
  • Movie theaters.
  • Clubs.
  • Stadiums.
  • Gyms.
  • Bars.
  • Salons.
  • Spas.

Mississippi:

  • Retail stores.
  • Gyms.
  • Restaurants.
  • Bars.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Theaters.
  • Casinos.
  • State parks.

Missouri:

All businesses in Missouri are open, provided that they follow social distancing rules.

Montana:

Montana businesses are free to operate as long as strict social distancing and hygiene protocols are followed.

Nebraska:

Some counties have no restrictions on business operations, so it is advisable that you check with your county to receive the most accurate information. Most businesses can operate if they adhere to social distancing rules and dispense hand sanitizer to all customers. These businesses include:

  • Retail stores.
  • Bars (in some counties).
  • Gyms.
  • Restaurants.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Theaters.
  • Pools.

Nevada:

  • Retail stores (open to curb-side pickups).
  • Malls.
  • Restaurants.
  • Bars (in some counties).
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship (with drive-in services).
  • Museums.
  • Theaters.
  • Gyms.
  • Pools.

New Hampshire:

Most businesses can operate if they follow social distancing guidelines and only allow a reduced number of customers on the premises. These businesses include:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Museums.
  • Theaters.
  • Amusement parks.
  • Gyms.

New Jersey:

  • Retail stores.
  • Malls.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Gas stations.
  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Laundry services.
  • Auto repair shops.
  • Postal and delivery services.
  • Restaurants (outdoor dining).
  • Barbershops, salons, and spas.
  • Tattoo parlors.
  • Gyms.
  • Construction.

New Mexico:

  • Retail stores.
  • Malls.
  • Veterinary services.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Golf courses.
  • Gyms.
  • Restaurants (outdoor dining).
  • Pet grooming.

New York:

  • Retail stores.
  • Malls (in some regions).
  • Restaurants (indoor dining only in some regions).
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Museums.
  • Pools.
  • Botanical gardens.
  • Construction.
  • Film and TV production.

North Carolina:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Pools.

North Dakota:

Most businesses have reopened in North Dakota, including:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Bars.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Spas.
  • Places of worship.
  • Theaters.
  • Gyms.

Ohio:

Ohio has allowed businesses to reopen with limited capacity.

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Bars.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Theaters.
  • Museums.
  • Casinos.
  • Gyms.
  • Pools.
  • Construction.

Oklahoma Businesses Remaining Open:

All businesses are allowed to operate, provided that they follow social distancing rules.

Oregon:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Bars.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Theaters.
  • Places of worship.
  • Gyms.
  • Pools (in most counties).

Pennsylvania:

All businesses are allowed to operate, provided that patrons wear masks at all times and stores may only serve a limited number of customers.

Puerto Rico:

  • Retail stores.
  • Malls.
  • Restaurants.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Pet grooming.
  • Places of worship.
  • Museums.
  • Beaches.

Rhode Island:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Gyms.
  • Casinos.
  • Malls.

South Carolina:

Most businesses have been allowed to open, including:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Bars.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Museums.
  • Beaches.
  • Gyms.
  • Pools.

South Dakota:

No businesses were required to close because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Tennessee:

Tennessee has announced the reopening of 89 counties, and the other counties have been allowed to reopen at their own discretion. Most counties are in a process of reopening. Please check with your local county for the most accurate information.

Texas:

  • Restaurants.
  • Retail stores.
  • Malls.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Theaters.
  • Museums.
  • Pools.
  • Gyms.

Utah:

All but one county has been allowed to reopen businesses. Businesses that have been allowed to open include:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Theaters.
  • Gyms.
  • Pools.

Vermont:

Most Vermont businesses have been allowed to open, but with limited customers and provided that face masks are worn at all times. Businesses that are allowed to open include:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Museums.
  • Gyms.
  • Construction.

Virginia:

Businesses have been allowed to open with the condition that public gatherings are limited. The following businesses are currently operational:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants (outdoor dining and pickup only).
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship (drive-in services and/or 50-person capacity).
  • Gyms.
  • Pools.

Washington:

Each county is currently in a phase of reopening. The following businesses are operational in most counties:

  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Places of worship.
  • Casinos.
  • Construction.

West Virginia:

West Virginia has reopened most businesses including:

  • Retail stores.
  • Malls.
  • Restaurants.
  • Pet groomers.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Gyms.
  • Pools.

Wisconsin:

Various counties in Wisconsin have managed their own reopening schedules, so it is advisable to check with your local county for the most accurate information.

Wyoming:

Most businesses in Wyoming have reopened, with the instruction to adhere to safety measures set out by the state.

FAQs:

What are essential businesses?

Essential businesses cater to basic needs by providing food, beverages, power, water, sewage treatment, medical services, defense services, or businesses that support the supply chain of the other businesses listed.

Is my business an essential business?

If your business ensures that basic needs are met, it is likely that your business is essential. You can use our guide to determine if your business may be essential.

Can I appeal my non-essential status?

Yes. If you believe that you have been incorrectly categorized as non-essential, you can fill out an online form provided by your state to appeal your status.

Should my business stay open while I appeal?

No. You should assume that your business does not qualify as essential until you receive confirmation. Adhere to social distancing protocols by not allowing any in-person business to take place.

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