Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced that the exemption application process for businesses created in response to Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine’s orders to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, will close on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM.
“With just a few days remaining to apply for an exemption, we encourage businesses who think they may be applicable to look at our Life-Sustaining Business FAQ and file before the end of the day Friday,” said Sec. Davin. “We appreciate the cooperation of businesses making sure they are operating appropriately during this time. As the business exemption period ends this week, our staff continues to work tirelessly to organize and assess the data associated with submissions.”
Per the governor’s and Dr. Levine’s orders, businesses that are non-life sustaining were ordered to close their physical locations on March 19. Businesses that determine from DCED’s business guidance that they are non-life sustaining but may provide a life-sustaining service have been able to seek an exemption, which is available online.
At the end of the day March 31, 2020, DCED received 32,474 requests for exemptions from Pennsylvania’s businesses, and DCED staff are working to process them as quickly as possible. DCED asks that businesses do not apply for a waiver more than once or because they have not received a response from a prior submission.
A team of professionals at DCED will review each request and respond based on the guiding principle of balancing public safety while ensuring the continued delivery of critical infrastructure services and functions. Those requesting an exemption will be notified via email if their operations may re-open. Businesses applying for an exemption must remain closed until a decision is made about their application.
In addition to the Frequently Asked Questions, DCED offers guidance for other business types about operations that are authorized to continue. Helpful resources available include:
- Life-sustaining v. non-life-sustaining guidance
- Stay-at-home guidance
- Business guidance
- Employee and worker guidance
Businesses seeking further guidance and clarification from DCED can also contact its customer service resource account at firstname.lastname@example.org. To help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis, funding information and resources are available on DCED’s Funding and Programs page.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.