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An update on essential businesses

There are a lot of changes coming daily in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve noticed a lot of confusion from our Gloucester County residents on what is an essential vs non-essential business.
The State of New Jersey is providing us with guidelines on what businesses are allowed to continue to operate during this time. All of these businesses will continue to operate while following social distancing and taking extra sanitations precautions.
“If your business is not a retail business, you may continue to operate,” advised Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger. “The guidelines have been consistent but we’re still receiving a lot of questions and confusion on what is and what isn’t an essential business. We’re always here to help and we hope this list will provide more clarity on what should be open to our residents.”
Essential businesses that may remain open:
·   Grocery stores and any stores that sells food;
·   Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries;
·   Medical supply stores;
·   Gas stations;
·   Convenience stores;
·   Stores in healthcare facilities;
·   Hardware and home improvement stores;
·   Banks;
·   Laundromats/dry-cleaning services;
·   Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five;
·   Pet stores, but not pet grooming;
·   Liquor stores;
·   Auto mechanics;
·   Car washes; Self-serve car washes may remain open. Drive-through car washes may continue to operate, but staff must not be handwashing the exterior or the interior of vehicles.
·   Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, to deliver online purchases directly to customers, or to arrange for curbside pickup;
·   Printing and office supply shops;
·   Mail and delivery stores;
·   Mobile phone retail and repair shops;
·   Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair;
·   Livestock feed stores;
·   Nurseries and garden centers;
·   Farming equipment stores;
·   Realtors, but only to show houses 1-on-1 (open houses are prohibited);
·   Firearms retailers, by appointment only and during limited hours;
·   Bars and restaurants for drive-through, delivery, and takeout only;
·   Microbreweries or brewpubs for home delivery only;
·   Child care centers, but only if they certify by Friday, March 27 that they will only serve children of essential workers starting April 1.
As per the State guidelines, manufacturing, industrial, logistics, ports, construction, shipping, food production, food delivery and other commercial operations may continue to operate, but they should limit staff on site to the minimal number needed for essential operations.
“It’s so important to remember that these guidelines are critical to help flatten the curve and stop COVID-19 from spreading in Gloucester County,” said Freeholder Heather Simmons, Liaison to the Department of Economic Development. “We can still support all of our businesses in Gloucester County by picking up food, purchasing gift cards to use at a later date or ordering online. What’s important now is to social distance so we can get back to enjoying all the wonderful places Gloucester County has to offer.”
If you have any questions, please visit or call the Gloucester County Department of Economic Development at 856-384-6963.