Businesses that Received an Exemption from Closure

All business activities in Pennsylvania are covered by the Governor’s and Secretary Levine’s business closure orders. These orders referenced the list of industry sectors defined by the United States Census Bureau, known as the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), and marked individual subsectors as “open” or “closed” based upon whether those subsectors’ businesses are categorically life-sustaining, or otherwise necessary to assist in battling this pandemic. This list is often referred to as the “List of Life Sustaining Businesses.”

Some businesses do not appear on the list but may support or provide goods and services necessary for life-sustaining businesses/facilities to continue to operate. For example, a manufacturer may be required to close under the orders, but may make products required by the healthcare industry.

To accommodate this type of situation, the Wolf administration created the exemption process to identify those businesses and allow them to operate—often in a reduced capacity—during this period of business closure.

Note, however, that businesses are permitted to continue life-sustaining activity regardless of whether it obtained or was denied an exemption. For example, essential personnel would be permitted to process payroll and insurance claims, maintain security, and engage in similar limited measures on an occasional basis, as described in the orders and guidance. Similarly, it is important to remember that exemptions are limited to the activities that businesses specifically referenced in their request for an exemption. Thus, businesses that received exemptions may not conduct non-life-sustaining activities that are not encompassed in their exemption requests.

Nearly 43,000 businesses requested exemptions and just over 6,000 of those businesses received exemptions. View the following documents and the interactive map below to learn about those exemption submissions.

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