news 4 days ago

Is my business still open during the 'Stay at Home' order? Here's how to find out

Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn. — Dane Mizutani Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.

March 26-- Mar. 26--Gov. Tim Walz has issued a "Stay at Home" order, urging Minnesotans to decrease social interactions for the next two weeks amid the COVID-19 crisis.

It goes into effect Friday at midnight.

What does that mean for businesses in the state? Not much.

Most businesses affected by the "Stay at Home" order have been closed since last week when Walz shut down bars and restaurants for dine-in services, as well as coffeeshops, gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys, hookah bars, arcades, and country clubs, among others.

Those remain closed through the "Stay at Home" order with the closure on bars and restaurants extended until May 1.

Meanwhile, businesses that are deemed "critical services" will remain open through the "Stay at Home" order. Most of these have been opened since last week.

They include jobs in the following fields: healthcare and public health; pharmacy; law enforcement, public safety, and first responders; child care, homeless shelters; food and agriculture; news media; energy; water and wastewater; and critical manufacturing.

In layman's terms, some businesses that will still be open through the "Stay at Home" order include hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants (take-out only), pharmacies, conveniences stores, child care facilities, news organizations, gas stations, banks, hardware stores, post offices, and yes, liquor stores.

"We have seen about 78 percent of the jobs in our state are in these critical industries," said Steve Grove, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. "It's about 22 percent of the jobs in our state that are not and that includes the bars and restaurants and places of public amusement that have already been closed."

It raises the question: Is my business still open during the 'Stay at Home' order? Here's how to find out:

There are three main resources, according to DEED, that provide guidance to help people determine if their business is still open. They are as follows:

1. The Governor's Executive Order regarding "Stay at Home"

2. The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security's Memorandum

3. List of NAICS Codes determined to be critical industries

No doubt the most useful resource is the list of NAICS Codes as it allows people to search if their business qualifies as a critical industry. There are 173 occupational categories that fall into that realm.

Any other questions? You can also submit inquiries to DEED directly at criticalsectors@state.mn.us.

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