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Friday Deadline Looms for Pennsylvania Businesses Seeking Exemption from Shutdown Order
April 02, 2020
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development ("DCED"), Pennsylvania businesses have until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020 to seek an exemption to Governor Wolf's order requiring "non-life sustaining businesses" to close physical locations. Businesses that do not file their exemption by the deadline may lose the opportunity entirely. The application can be found on the DCED’s website.
This announcement comes with an updated list of life-sustaining businesses and updated guidance on waiver applications. In these updated documents, the DCED has emphasized that, in reviewing exemption requests, it is relying on Version 1.1 of the COVID-19 Critical Infrastructure guidance published by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency ("CISA"). Businesses that qualify as “critical infrastructure” under the CISA guidance, or provide goods and services necessary to sustain operations of a life-sustaining business, may receive an exemption. Because many states have used—and even incorporated—CISA guidance in developing their own shutdown orders, this offers a degree of uniformity for businesses operating in multiple jurisdictions.
The DCED reports that more than 32,000 businesses have requested exemptions. Each request is reviewed by the DCED, and businesses are notified via email if permitted to reopen. Businesses must remain closed until they receive a positive response.
Contact a member of the COVID-19 Task Force to determine if you qualify and how to apply.
Julian E. Neiser