Bars, Restaurants, and other Non-essential Businesses to Shut Down
For two weeks, businesses statewide will be suspending business.
March 16, 2020
As a precautionary move, all non-essential businesses in Pennsylvania have been ordered to shut down.
Quickly following the lead of other states like New York, Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Wolf is calling for many businesses to be shut down for two weeks' time. Over the last few days, gatherings of multiple people have been discouraged in order to cut down on the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Though a full list has not been made public yet, businesses deemed non-essential include gyms, hair salons, and music venues. Pharmacies, gas stations, and grocery stores have been deemed essential.
Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), in consultation with the Department of Health (DOH), issued guidance for non-essential businesses in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Governor Tom Wolf has strongly urged non-essential businesses in the four counties to close during their county-specific mitigation periods to protect employees, customers, and suppliers and limit the spread of the virus through personal contact and surfaces. DCED and DOH are reaching out to businesses through a letter to provide guidance on the types of businesses that are urged to close. The letter also indicates to businesses that financial assistance opportunities are available to mitigate the financial impact of closures.
"We are committed to keeping all Pennsylvanians safe and healthy, and we are taking every measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19," said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. "We continue to report new cases of coronavirus every day, and additional steps must be taken to stop the spread. Therefore, we strongly urge non-essential businesses across Pennsylvania to do their part by temporarily closing to help mitigate the spread of this contagious virus."
Non-essential businesses include community and recreation centers; gyms, including yoga, barre and spin facilities; hair salons, nail salons and spas; casinos; concert venues; theaters; bars; sporting event venues and golf courses; retail facilities, including shopping malls and except for pharmacy or other health care facilities within retail operations. Restaurants are urged only to remain open for carry-out and delivery orders.
"We understand that small businesses are an economic driver in Pennsylvania, and a temporary closure will be a financial and community disruptor," Davin said. "However, our top priority is maintaining public health and safety of all Pennsylvanians and taking these proactive steps now can help mitigate a potential community spread. DCED is committed to working with the business community to provide helpful resources for financial assistance."
DCED offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Resources and information will be posted to https://dced.pa.gov/resources as they become available. The U.S. Small Business Administration, in addition to local funding partners, may also be a source of assistance for affected businesses.
The Wolf Administration strongly encourages businesses to act now before the governor or the Secretary of Health finds it necessary to compel closures under the law for the interest of public health, including section 7301 of the Emergency Management Services Code.
As of this time, there have been no confirmed cases of the disease in Erie County.