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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

DECO Provides Guidance on Essential Businesses During Shelter in Place


Many municipalities are fielding complaints and questions from residents and other business owners about certain businesses that remain open during the Governor's stay at home order. Police departments and other municipal staff are being asked by residents and others to enforce the Governor's order and require these businesses to close down. The issue turns on whether a business falls within the definition of an essential business or operation which is allowed to remain open or whether employees of a non-essential business are performing permissible "minimum basic operations."

We reported earlier this week on the Governor's order and listed some of the businesses that are considered "essential" and, therefore, allowed to remain open. Although the list is quite detailed, there are still questions as to whether a particular business falls within one of the listed categories.

This week, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DECO), a state agency, issued guidelines called "Essential Businesses & Operations." These guidelines include the list of essential businesses and operations, as well as guidance on how essential businesses can and should operate. It also includes information to assist businesses in determining whether they might be essential. Finally, it includes a number of commonly raised questions about particular businesses, including car dealerships, personal trainers, technology companies, landscapers, and others. 

You can read DECO's guidance on Essential Businesses & Operations here.

In addition, a business can email DECO to obtain guidance on whether its business is considered essential under the Governor's order. 

DECO has also provided a flowchart for Essential Businesses here.

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