Advice for your Essential Business during COVID-19

Advice for your Essential Business during COVID-19

Written By: Oscar Soto, Esq

The number of COVID-19 cases is continually rising in the United States. To stop the spread of the virus, the government has taken several measures. It includes the ‘nonessential businesses’ to be kept under shutters. Admittedly, it is challenging to draw the line between essential and nonessential businesses. That pharmacies and groceries are regarded as essential businesses that do not create any question or doubt in anyone. But what about the rest? The federal government agencies, however, are working relentlessly to provide support and guidance to the essential businesses that are remaining open.

This article is written to make you aware of the advice that you need to follow to run your essential businesses.

Federal agencies like the Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security and Cyber Security has issued guidance to both state and local ‘critical infrastructure.’ This regulation applies to those who are providing essential services. It will guide both the employers and additional jurisdictions as they issue their ‘red alert’ orders. It will also offer information for all jurisdictions on how to make sense of their orders as they make enforcement decisions.

It is a wise step to prepare yourselves for the possible the imposition of such orders regardless of what situation your business is at present.

Each state government has come up with its orders. However, they typically have the following features in common:

  1. Those employees whose businesses are not under the essential category will have to work from home.

  2. The employers with their respective employees who run essential businesses and are needed for basic operations can remain outside their homes.

  3. For the residents, the same rule of staying at home applies. If people are doing physical exercise outside their homes, they should properly follow social isolation rules.

  4. Travelling, with a few exemptions, is forbidden.

The following steps are recommended on how to carry out essential business during this crisis.  

  1. The first recommendation is to understand the specific requirements of each applicable order.

  2. You are required to ascertain whether your business is categorized as essential or not.

  3. If your business falls under an essential business category, you have to decide the minimum operations that will be carried out during the restricted period. Moreover, you will need to enlist the employees who are to work outside the home.

  4. Notices should be developed to show the essential status of your business. Moreover, it is better to provide written verification and certificates for the essential employees beforehand so that they can show it to the police on duty when demanded.

  5. Next, you need to look into the needs and placement options, including paid and unpaid leaves, furloughs, and layoffs.

  6. Notices should be circulated among the suppliers, vendors, and customers to provide them with accurate information regarding the status of the business under the order.

  7. You also need to think about the possible support and assistance offered at the federal and state level to sustain businesses which are impacted by these orders.

All businesses should act on the steps mentioned above to develop a clear strategy. If they have a proper plan in place, they can operate their businesses during this difficult time. Further, we reiterate that businesses should contact legal counsel to ensure the accuracy of their written verification and certificates for the essential employees before they are issued to employees.

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