State defines businesses considered ‘essential’

The New York 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.

The following 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


Walk-in-care health facilities

Emergency veterinary and livestock services

Elder care

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

2. Essential infrastructure:

Utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission

Public water and wastewater

Telecommunications and data centers


Transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages

Hotels, and places of accommodation

3. Essential manufacturing:

Food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages


Medical equipment/instruments


Sanitary products




Household paper products

4. Essential retail:

Grocery stores including all food and beverage stores


Convenience stores

Farmer’s markets

Gas stations

Restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)

Hardware and building material stores

5. Essential services:

Trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal

Mail and shipping services


Building cleaning and maintenance

Child care services

Auto repair

Warehouse/distribution and fulfillment

Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries

Storage for essential businesses

Animal shelters

6. News media

7. Financial Institutions:





Services related to financial markets

8. 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

9. Construction:

Skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers

Other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes

10. Defense:

Defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government

11. 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


Emergency management and response

Building cleaners or janitors

General maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor

Automotive repair


12. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services:


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.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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