Last Day For Businesses To File For Exemption From Closure Order

Governor Tom Wolf and PA Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

Businesses who have been forced to close their physical locations due to Governor Wolf’s executive order can file for an exemption until 5 p.m. Friday evening.

Wolf’s order, issued Mar. 19, mandated the closure of non-essential businesses in Pennsylvania. Wolf outlined a litany of businesses which fall into the non-essential category, including:

  • Community and recreation centers
  • Gyms
  • Theaters
  • Hair and Nail salons
  • Casinos
  • Theaters
  • Bars
  • Malls
  • Restaurant Dine-in (Takeout, delivery, and drive thru are still allowed).

However, many business owners may have fallen into a gray area of uncertainty. Instead of operating in a state of limbo, the state government has given them the opportunity to file for an exemption.

Any business owner can file for an exemption from Wolf’s order on the PA Department of Community & Economic Development website. They can fill out a form, here, and give a reason why their business is essential.

Along with business owners needing to explain why their business is life-sustaining, they must also demonstrate they have a plan to cooperate with CDC guidelines.

However, whether a business is essential in this case is not a matter of public opinion. The state has put together a list, here, of industries with essential businesses.

The consequences for operating a business deemed non-essential could be criminal charges. The Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement are working together to enforce Wolf’s order.

As of April 3, the PSP have issued 163 warnings to business in the commonwealth.