Coronavirus – May my non-essential business remain open?

With the State of Ohio issuing an order shutting down what are deemed to be “non-essential businesses,” a number of clients have contacted me asking the following question:

If my business is defined as a “non-essential business” but I perform services or provide product to what is defined as an “essential business,” is my business permitted to stay open?

The short answer to this question is yes but your business must comply with all social distancing requirements.

The Health Director’s order provides the following: “No. 12. For purposes of this order, Essential Businesses and Operations Means…:

q. Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations. Businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply other Essential Businesses and Operations with the support or materials necessary to operate…”

If your customer indicates that it falls under the definition of an essential business, then your business will be able to continue to operate in order to provide the necessary services and/or supplies to allow such essential business to continue to operate. But, your businesses’ operations must comply with the required social distancing requirements.

These social distancing requirements are as follows:

  • Designate six-foot distances. The workplace should be reconfigured to ensure that workstations are at least six-feet apart.
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products should be readily available to workers.
  • Separate operating hours for vulnerable populations. This requirement is common with retail stores where the first hour open for business is set aside for vulnerable populations.
  • Online and remote access. Is it possible for your business to continue operations with employees working from home? Is it possible to interface with your customers remotely?

If you would like to read the entire order issued by the State of Ohio Department of Health, please click on the following link:

These have been difficult and trying times for everyone. Please stay safe and above all – use common sense. If you have any questions about this or any other business-related issues, do not hesitate to be in contact.

Do you have a question related to your business and the coronavirus?

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Chris Corpus

Founding Partner at Corpus Law Inc

This article does not provide legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this topic or if you have other legal questions, do not hesitate to contact Chris Corpus, Esq. of Corpus Law Inc at 216-973-2475. Copyright Christopher A. Corpus 2024.