What types of businesses are considered essential?

Updated March 21 - 6:06 p.m.

Essential businesses may remain open, but should follow social distancing requirements that include:

  • maintaining at least a six-foot social distancing from other individuals,

  • washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer,

  • covering coughs or sneezes (into sleeve or elbow, not hands), 

  • regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and 

  • not shaking hands. 


These are some categories of businesses considered essential:

  • Healthcare organizations, such as hospitals, medical and mental health clinics, doctor offices, pharmacies, health care supply stores, and other health care facilities

  • Essential infrastructure, such as construction and related functions

  • Grocery stores, certified farmer’s markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other groceries

  • Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing

  • Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services

  • Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services

  • Gas stations and auto supply, auto-repair, and related facilities

  • Banks and related financial institutions

  • Hardware stores

  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining safety and sanitation

  • Post offices and businesses providing mailing and shipping services

  • Educational institutions

  • Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers

  • Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food (delivery or carry out only)

  • Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home

  • Business or manufacturers that supply other essential businesses with the supply necessary to operate

  • Businesses that ship or deliver goods or services directly to residences

  • Transportation such as taxis and airlines

  • Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children

  • Residential facilities including hotels, motels, shared rental units

  • Legal, accounting, real estate services

  • Childcare facilities (under specific conditions)

  • Businesses with retail liquor package license, retail beer package license, retail wine package license (drive-thru or parking lots or at curb)  

  • Businesses consisting exclusively of employees working from home

  • Churches, places of worship, and religious services

A more detailed list of businesses considered essential and businesses not considered essential is available online.

Show All Answers

1. Is this mandatory or is it just a guidance?
2. Why are we doing this?
3. How long is the ordinance in effect?
4. What types of businesses are considered essential?
5. What if my business is not considered an essential business?
6. Is there financial assistance available to businesses?
7. Can ACCGov divert funds from TSPLOST/SPLOST projects to support low-paid workers or businesses?
8. Are churches, places of worship, and religious services considered essential?
9. Are gun stores and places that sell guns considered essential?
10. Are businesses in the City of Winterville and the City of Bogart subject to the ordinance?
11. Where can I go to see the full ordinance?
12. What if I have additional questions that aren’t answered here?