“Essential Businesses”: Defined

Tonight at 8, Governor Lamont’s emergency proclamation takes effect. It closes all but “essential” businesses in the Connecticut.

What does that mean? The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce relayed this important information.

For purposes of Executive Order 7H, “essential business,” means:

  1. Essential workers in the 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors, as defined by the federal Department of Homeland Security unless otherwise addressed in a prior or future executive order pertaining to the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency.
  2. Healthcare and related operations including:

* biotechnology therapies

* consumer health products and services

* doctor and dentist offices

* elder care, including adult day care

* health care plans and health care data

* home health care workers or aides

* hospitals

* manufacturing, distributing, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, including research and development

* medical marijuana dispensaries and producers

* medical supplies and equipment providers, including devices, diagnostics, services, and any other healthcare related supplies or services

* medical wholesale and distribution

* nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities

* pharmacies

* physical therapy and chiropractic offices

* research and laboratory services, including testing and treatment of COVID-19

* veterinary and animal health services

* walk-in-care health facilities

The ever-smiling, always-helpful Russ Levine at Colonial pharmacy is of course essential.

  1. Infrastructure including:

* airports/airlines

* commercial trucking

* dam maintenance and support

* education-related functions at the primary, secondary, or higher education level to provide support for students, including distribution of meals or faculty conducting e-learning

* hotels and other places of accommodation

* water and wastewater operations, systems, and businesses

* telecommunications and data centers

* transportation infrastructure including bus, rail, for-hire vehicles and vehicle rentals, and garages

* utilities including power generation, fuel supply, and transmission

  1. All manufacturing and corresponding supply chains, including aerospace, agriculture, and related support businesses
  1. Retail including:

* appliances, electronics, computers, and telecom equipment

* big-box stores or wholesale clubs, provided they also sell groceries, consumer health products, or operate a pharmacy

* convenience stores

* gas stations

* grocery stores including all food and beverage retailers

* guns and ammunition

* hardware, paint, and building material stores, including home appliance sales/repair

* liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees

* pharmacies

* pet and pet supply stores

Westport Hardware is another essential business.

  1. Food and agriculture, including:

* farms and farmer’s markets

* food manufacturing, processing, storage, and distribution facilities

* nurseries, garden centers, and agriculture supply stores

* restaurants/bars (provided compliance with all applicable executive orders is maintained)

  1. Services including:

* accounting and payroll services

* animal shelters or animal care or management, including boarding, grooming, pet walking and pet sitting

* auto supply, repair, towing, and service, including roadside assistance

* bicycle repair and service

* building cleaning and maintenance

* child care services

* critical operations support for financial institutions

* financial advisors

* financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, and check cashing services

* funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries

* insurance companies

* laundromats/dry cleaning

* legal and accounting services

* mail and shipping services

* marinas and marine repair and service

* news and media

* real estate transactions and related services, including residential leasing and renting

* religious services (subject to Executive Order 7D limiting gatherings to 50 people)

* storage for Essential Businesses

* trash and recycling collection, hauling, and processing

* warehouse/distribution, shipping, and fulfillment

Trash collecting is absolutely essential.

  1. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including:

* food banks

* homeless shelters and congregate care facilities

* 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 social service agencies

  1. Construction including:

* all skilled trades such as electricians, HVAC, and plumbers

* general construction, both commercial and residential

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

* planning, engineering, design, bridge inspection, and other construction support activities

  1. Services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of all residences and other buildings (including services necessary to secure and maintain non-essential workplaces):

* building cleaners or janitors

* building code enforcement

* disinfection

* doormen

* emergency management and response

* fire prevention and response

* general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor

* home-related services, including real estate transactions, closings, appraisals, and moving services

* landscaping services

* law enforcement

* outdoor maintenance, including pool service

* pest control services

* security and maintenance, including steps reasonably necessary to secure and maintain non-essential businesses

* state marshals

Staples’ popular head custodian Horace Lewis leads a great — and essential — staff.

  1. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care, and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public including: 

* billboard leasing and maintenance

* child care services

* essential government services

* government owned or leased buildings

* information technology and information security

* logistics

* technology support

  1. Defense 

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


If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an Essential Business.

Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above, should ONLY be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.

Restrictions on requesting designation as an Essential Business:

  • Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (e.g. attendant) is deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an Essential Business.

If you have further questions not answered above, please submit them to decd.covid19@ct.gov.

17 responses to ““Essential Businesses”: Defined

  1. Larry Perlstein

    So basically, the only businesses closing are clothing and shoe stores? Guns and ammo stores are essential businesses? I’m not getting this at all.

    • Don’t forget nail salons. Can’t decide which is more essential, guns and ammo or landscaping…

    • William Strittmatter

      Sounds like someone figured out that completely destroying the economy to stop coronavirus ultimately might be more harmful to the country and people’s health than coronavirus itself. Even the NY Times sought fit to run op-ed pieces along those lines.

      The best advice I’ve seen is if you are ill or think you have been exposed, 1) suck it up and SELF QUARANTINE yourself and your family for 14 days, 2) since the WWHD seems disinclined to contact trace, inform others you may have come in contact with recently so they can do the same. If you need something, don’t go out. I’m sure a neighbor or any number of folks will run the errand for you to help keep you from spreading the virus.

  2. Do nannies qualify as “childcare services”?

  3. Dorthy Abrams

    Russ, From way out here in MN, where we’re in a lockdown, too, I remember all the times you were so helpful. Thanks _____

    Essential Businesses”: Defined

    Dan Woog posted: “Tonight at 8, Governor Lamont’s emergency proclamation takes effect. It closes all but “essential” businesses in the Connecticut. What does that mean? The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce relayed this important information. For purposes of Execut”

  4. John D. McCarthy

    Send lawyers, guns and money…..

  5. Amy Schneider

    Thank you for the list Dan

  6. India van Voorhees

    It would have been easier to list what has to close – which is basically salons, eat-in restaurants, gyms and movie theaters?
    Everybody stay home, except for 85% of you.
    This clearly isn’t going to work.

  7. I’m a supporter of Gov Lamont and the actions he has taken but can’t believe that gun and ammunition retailers are considered essential…what can our friends in Newtown be thinking?

    • i would argue they are essential… many rely on them… police departments/officers, security guard companies, executive protection folks, etc. they dont just sell guns and ammunition but many offer gun smithing services too. there are armored guards posted at banks, sensitive infrastructure, etc.

      • Nonsense, Josh.
        Those venues could easily serve all the essential services you outline and still be closed to the public….you must know that.

    • William Strittmatter

      Everyone knows you need a gun to protect the pile of toilet paper, Purell and all the other stuff you are hoarding. Otherwise, once everyone else is short, they are coming for your starch. Given the hoarding going on in Westport, I’d have thought that would be obvious.

      • William Strittmatter

        Stash not starch….

      • You may be correct, William; this morning, at 6a.m., there was a Wesport cop guarding the stack of toilet paper and towels from which folks were allowed to take one of each….a cop guarding toilet paper!!!

  8. The list seems ridiculous, but don’t blame Lamont. They have been carefully laid out by the Dept of Homeland Security after no doubt, countless hours of scrutiny, many beers, and an accounting of which industries gave the most donations to the sitting President, at the time they were created. I can only imagine the belly laughing and “high-fiving” the founding fathers, of this list, had when they put liquor stores, landscaping services, and pest control businesses in there.

  9. This list certainly does look like it was created by the same folks who gave us the Gerrymander. Based on the length of the list, it would have been easier to list the non-essentials. Also, I hope they at least start some enforcement. I saw a Big Lots store today that was open and I can’t see how they fit into the “essential” category although I may have missed a loophole. I also should confess that I went in and bought two large packs of paper towels.