Gov. Wolf Sets April 3 Deadline for Essential Business Exception Requests

April 2, 2020Alerts

Businesses operating in Pennsylvania have until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020 to submit requests for exemptions to be considered an essential business that is allowed to continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, under an order issued by Gov. Tom Wolf.

Therefore, if you desire to seek relief to continue business operations and have not already made the request, we recommend you do so immediately.

The governor's initial order to close the physical locations of all non-life-sustaining businesses in the state to help contain the COVID-19 outbreak required all construction sites to shut down. It was subsequently updated to allow construction of health care facilities and emergency repairs for construction. 

On March 28, 2020, an advisory memorandum from Christopher C. Krebs, Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency added residential construction workers to that agency's list of "essential critical infrastructure workers" during the COVID-19 response.

Since Pennsylvania and many other states have based restrictions on the operation of "non-essential" businesses on CISA's guidance, the update may provide homebuilders in Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, an opportunity to petition the state to restart construction.

Waivers and exemptions to the closure order may be sought by filling out this online form on the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's website. General questions can be directed to RA‑[email protected]. The department has also posted this list of answers to frequently asked questions.

If we can be of any assistance, please contact us.