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What is an Essential Business?

Columbia/Boone County is under a  Stay at Home Order beginning 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and will continue to be in effect until 8 a.m. on April 24, 2020, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded or amended. The order’s intent is to ensure that the maximum number of people stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) while enabling essential services to continue.

Major categories of essential businesses defined in the order include:

  • Health care (doctors, dentists, nurses, hospitals, pharmacies, medical research facilities, labs, etc);
  • Food and drink production and distribution (including grocery stores, markets, restaurants that offer food for carryout, liquor stores);
  • Sanitation (including laundromats, dry cleaners, household and business cleaning services and supply stores);
  • Transportation (including gas stations, public transit, taxis, airports, railroads and other private transportation providers);
  • Financial Services (including banks, insurance providers, and professional services required to comply with legal and regulatory requirements);
  • Manufacturing and distribution of supplies and materials for essential businesses (including trucking and other supply chain support functions);
  • Maintenance and construction of infrastructure and households;
  • Child care;
  • Operations identified by the University of Missouri and individuals who have been authorized by the University to work on-site for operational continuity;
  • Essential Government Operations;
  • Residential facilities (including hotels and motels);
  • Media and Communications Providers (including newspapers, radio stations and television stations);
  • Mailing, Shipping, and Delivery services.

A full list of categories of essential businesses is provided in the order and they include:  grocery and liquor stores, restaurants with take-out and delivery, gas stations, auto supply and repair, hardware stores, laundromats, dry cleaners, banks, media, trucking and transportation providers, construction services and more.

We strongly encourage all essential businesses to allow employees to work from home and to maintain social distancing to the extent feasible in continuing to carry out their operations.Non-essential businesses can continue operations that can be conducted from employees’ homes.

They can also continue minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory and facilities and to ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions, as well as minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences, provided social distancing is maintained.

Please read the full order and the FAQ sheet for more details:

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