As of March 30th at 5:00p.m., North Carolina is under a “Stay at home” order. People are still entitled to leave their home for groceries, medications, health care appointments, social services, church, etc. However, what does this mean for businesses? North Carolina’s definition of essential businesses and operations includes a massive category of businesses practicing defined “social distancing requirements” together with sectors listed by CISA (as being in critical infrastructure areas) and health care and human services operations, essential infrastructure and government operations, stores that sell food, medicine and those who produce food, charitable and social services, religious entities, media, gas stations, banks, insurance agencies, home improvement and supply stores, the trades, mail, logistics and delivery services, education, laundry and restaurants (limited to pick up and delivery), home-based care and services, residential facilities, professional services, hotels, funeral services, defense and military contractors and just about any other retail or other service providing for needs of other essential business. 

There can be uncertainty surrounding the determination of whether your business is deemed “essential,” and since there are criminal penalties for violations, it is recommended that business owners consult us here at Shipman & Wright, LLP to determine what classification your business falls under. And, further, if your business operates in a County or City with its on Shelter in Place order, it is imperative that you follow the more restrictive of the regulations. For businesses that operate throughout numerous localities and/or states, we can consult with your to ensure you are in compliance with all orders that your business may be subject to. 

If it is determined that your business qualifies as essential under the applicable state-specific and/or local-specific definition of an “essential” business, we can help you document how your business and its operations are “essential” and what protocols you are implementing to protect your employees from COVID-19, despite continuing operations.  We will help you identify your customer base and report how your products or services are necessary to the operations of “essential” businesses and how your COVID-19 protocols comply with current guidance. 

Count on us to provide guidance and confidence in this unprecedented time. Once engaged, we will be in your corner to assist with ongoing policy needs or defense of your operations in this very fluid and unsettling time.