So, my business is nonessential, what do I do now?

Just as “essential” businesses vary by state and locality, so do “nonessential” businesses. However, even as fluid as the current situation seems to be, there are businesses generally deemed “nonessential”.  These “nonessential” businesses include the following: bowling alleys, casinos, concert venues, dine-in bars and restaurants, gyms, museums, racetracks, recreation centers, salons and spas, shopping malls, sporting venues and theatres.

Still, because the power to issue “shelter in place” orders are state-specific and arise out of state constitutional, statutory, and regulatory frameworks, they must be reviewed by any affected individual or business that desires to understand the order’s application, enforcement and the availability for judicial review.  There are some general characteristics that provide guidance for any individual or business adversely affected by such an order.  

These orders typically have a limited term, between 10 and 30 days because the ramifications of such measures can be crushing. You may be wondering what is going to happen to your employees, how will you satisfy existing agreements and contracts, how will you deal with your landlord/bank and pending rent/mortgage payments with no cash flow, and will you your business be able to survive after temporary closures. 


It is important that you have strong and informed counsel at the ready to help you in taking advantage of all potential assistance that will flow from such extreme governmental action. Shipman & Wright, LLP has experienced and knowledgeable attorneys on staff with the ability to provide guidance in all matters related to COVID 19 closures whether you are operating an essential or nonessential business across all business sectors. 

Importantly, it is crucial to understand that ignoring an isolation or quarantine order or other state of emergency declaration may be a violation of state law. With courts closing and/or delaying cases, challenging an order will be difficult and resolution will be delayed. We can help you properly advise your employees, advocate with your vendors and customers, and document your losses for the purpose of navigating your recovery when this subsides. Let us help you get a plan in place. 

While you may not have a choice about continuing operations, you can choose to be proactive. Once engaged we can help you with a plan, documentation, claims and advocate for you so that your business survives. Let Shipman & Wright help see you through. 

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Wilmington Business Journal Power BreakfastNC Stay at Home Order