Coronavirus - Essential Businesses by SIC Code

Coronavirus - Essential Businesses by SIC Code

The Global Pandemic Covid-19 Coronavirus has gripped the world and has impacted nearly every area of human life. Throughout this crisis, is working 'round the clock to provide updated industry information. 

New York Essential Businesses

On March 22, New York State Governor announced the signing of Executive Order 202.6 that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions. On April 26, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced a phased approach to reopen industries and businesses in New York in phases based upon a data-driven, regional analysis. On May 4, 2020, the Governor provided that the regional analysis would consider several public health factors, including new COVID-19 infections, as well as health care system, diagnostic testing, and contact tracing capacity. On May 11, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced that the first phase of reopening would begin on May 15, 2020 in several regions of New York, based upon available regional metrics and indicators. This essential business guidance shall remain in effect for the regions and industries that are not yet within the reopening phases.

Updated: May 31, 2020 at 6:53 PM

New York Government Link:

Essential Business Industries: (Example - New York)


  • SIC Codes are for reference only.
  • Represents New York only. Links for other states are located below.
  • * designates that not all examples in this industry apply - please contact local authorities for official designations and clarifications)

1. Essential Health Care Operations, Including

2. Essential Infrastructure, Including:

3. Essential Manufacturing, Including:

4. Essential Retail, Including:

5. Essential Services, Including

6. News Media

7. Financial Institutions, Including:

8. Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations, Including:

9. Construction, Including

  • All Non-Essential Construction Must Safely Shut Down Except Emergency Construction, (e.g. a Project Necessary to Protect the Health and Safety of the Occupants, or to Continue a Project if it would be Unsafe to Allow to Remain Undone, but Only to the Point that it is Safe to Suspend Work).
  • Essential construction includes:
    • construction for, or your business provides necessary support for construction projects involving, roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, or public or private schools;
    • construction for affordable housing, as defined as construction work where either (i) a minimum of 20% of the residential units are or will be deemed affordable and are or will be subject to a regulatory agreement and/or a declaration from a local, state, or federal government agency or (ii) where the project is being undertaken by, or on behalf of, a public housing authority;
    • construction necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants of a structure;
    • construction necessary to continue a project if allowing the project to remain undone would be unsafe, provided that the construction must be shut down when it is safe to do so;
    • construction for existing (i.e. currently underway) projects of an essential business; or
    • construction work that is being completed by a single worker who is the sole employee/worker on the job site.
  • At every site, it is required that the personnel working on the site maintain an appropriate social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exits. Sites that cannot maintain appropriate social distancing, as well as cleaning/disinfecting protocols must close. Enforcement will be conducted by state and local governments, including fines up to $10,000 per violation.
  • Construction may continue solely with respect to those employees that must be present at the business location/construction site in support of essential business activities. No other employees/personnel shall be permitted to work in-person at the business location/construction site. For staging activities, an in-person workforce may be present on-site to:
    • Clean, sanitize, and/or disinfect common and work areas;
    • Test run hoists, elevators, cranes, and other equipment;
    • Establish new and multiple entrances/exists to control the movement of personnel and allow for health screening, including temperature taking;
    • Install hand hygiene/wash stations or retrofit existing ones with touchless faucets and dispensers;
    • Install health screening stations or devices at entrances;
    • Affix social distancing, hygiene, and cleaning/disinfection signage, including posters, markers, and directional arrows;
    • Deliver and stockpile personal protective equipment (e.g. face coverings, face shields, gloves); and
    • Order, unload, and rough set materials that specialty contractors or subcontractors need to perform work (e.g. structural supports, piping, conduits, drywall).
  • As noted above, local governments, including municipalities and school districts, are allowed to continue construction projects at this time as government entities are exempt from these essential business restrictions. However, to the greatest extent possible, local governments should postpone any non-essential projects and only proceed with essential projects when they can implement appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols. Essential projects should be considered those that have a nexus to health and safety of the building occupants or to support the broader essential services that are required to fulfill the critical operations of government or the emergency response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

10. Defense

11. Essential Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses, Including:

12. Vendors that Provide Essential Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services:

13. Recreation

  • Parks and Other Open Public Spaces, Except Playgrounds and Other Areas of Congregation where Social Distancing Cannot be Abided
  • Outdoor, low-risk recreational activities are permitted so long as social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting measures are in place:
    • tennis;
    • non-motorized boat use and rentals, such as row boats, kayaks, canoes; and
    • golf and driving ranges, except miniature (mini) golf, with food and retail services subject to the restrictions that are currently in effect within the region
  • Drive-in movie theaters so long as social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting measures are in place
  • Marinas, boatyards, and recreational marine manufacturers, for ongoing marina operations and boat repair/maintenance, where such facilities adhere to strict social distancing and sanitization protocols. Use of such sites for the purposes of personal use or operation of boats or other watercraft is permissible, provided that no establishment offer chartered watercraft services or rentals. Restaurant activity at such sites are limited to take-out or delivery only.

14. Professional Services with Extensive Restrictions

  • Lawyers may continue to perform all work necessary for any service so long as it is performed remotely. Any in-person work presence shall be limited to work only in support of essential businesses or services; however, even work in support of an essential business or service should be conducted as remotely as possible.
  • Real estate services shall be conducted remotely for all transactions, including but not limited to title searches, appraisals, permitting, inspections, and the recordation, legal, financial and other services necessary to complete a transfer of real property; provided, however, that any services and parts therein may be conducted in-person only to the extent legally necessary and in accordance with appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols; and nothing within this provision should be construed to allow brokerage and branch offices to remain open to the general public (i.e. not clients).

Essential Businesses by State

The SIC Codes were provided above for the industries deemed Essential according to the Government of New York. Please see the following links for the specific designations for those states that have enacted similar orders:

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