SWM Regional Chamber Offers “Essential Business” Guidelines

As you might expect, everybody starts to wonder, “Is my job considered an ‘essential’ service in light of the Governor’s executive order to shelter in place?” Lots of businesses have been asking that question since her announcement this morning, and the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber is answering it for you.

After Governor Whitmer’s announcement of Executive Order 2020-21 Shelter in Place, many questions have been posed to the Chamber regarding which businesses are considered “essential.”

Essential businesses and workers are defined as “Those who are necessary to sustain or protect life,” and “Critical infrastructure workers.”

Those business categories include:

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  • Communications
  • Chemical
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Commercial Facilities
  • Dams
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Emergency Services
  • Energy
  • Financial
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Government Facilities
  • Healthcare & Public Health
  • Information Technology
  • Nuclear Reactors, Materials & Waste
  • Transportation Systems
  • Water

The Chamber wants to make clear that restaurants are considered essential infrastructure, falling under the “Food and Agriculture” category and are allowed to remain open. If they remain open, however, they must provide one of the following:

  • No contact delivery
  • No contact curbside
  • No contact carry-out

Additionally, critical services such as grocery stores, food banks, pharmacies, medical supply stores, gas stations/convenience stores, liquor stores, hardware stores, laundromats, banks, auto services, and pet stores will also remain open, but many are operating on reduced hours.

Sarah Spoonholtz, Director or Membership & Events at the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber, adds: “We urge that you exercise caution and adhere to social distancing guidelines as you continue to patronize local, exempted establishments.”

More information regarding what and who qualifies as “Essential Critical Infrastructure” can be found by visiting the following link from the Department of Homeland Security:

https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CISA-Guidance-on-Essential-Critical-Infrastructure-Workers-1-20-508c.pdf