Essential Businesses During COVID-19

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The majority of the United States and many countries throughout the world are restricted from operating based on their local city, county, state, and federal government’s quarantine restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic (referred in many places as “shelter-in-place”).

The result is that many businesses and employees either have to work from home or are unable to work at all (B2C industries such as – restaurant, many retail stores, consumer services, etc). 

However, the government does recognize that there are many essential industries that must continue to operate so that civilized life can continue to operate. 

For the sake of clarity, we want to provide you with a clear picture of the industries that have been given the green light to operate with extreme healthcare caution.

We should mention that each local government is unique, and our guidance would be to refer to your local government’s laws. 

Here is the Dallas Shelter-in-Place list of essential businesses:

Essential Healthcare Businesses

  • Hospitals
  • In-home health care for seniors, adults or children
  • Clinics
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacies
  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • Health care suppliers
  • Mental health providers
  • Substance-abuse service providers
  • Blood banks
  • Medical research facilities
  • Laboratory services
  • Veterinary care for animals

Essential Government Functions

Government functions that are “needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public” are broadly included.

Essential Infrastructure Businesses

  • Public works construction
  • Residential and commercial construction
  • Airport operations
  • Water, sewer, gas and electrical businesses
  • Oil refining
  • Road and highway work
  • Public transportation (including DART rail and buses)
  • Solid waste collection and removal
  • Internet and telecommunications systems businesses
  • Financial institutions
  • Defense and national security-related operations
  • Essential manufacturing operations

Essential Retail Businesses

  • Grocery stores
  • Warehouse stores
  • Big-box stores
  • Bodegas
  • Liquor stores
  • Gas stations and convenience stores
  • Farmers markets that sell food products and household staples
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries directly to homes
  • Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food are only permitted to remain open for delivery or carryout services
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers
  • Automotive suppliers as well as auto and bicycle repair services
  • Hardware stores
  • Any business that supplies products needed for people to work remotely during the pandemic

Essential Services

  • Businesses that provide social services and services necessary to life for the economically disadvantaged
  • Trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • Mail and shipping services
  • Building cleaning and maintenance
  • Warehouse, distribution and fulfillment services
  • Storage services for essential businesses included in this list
  • Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators and other services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and operations of residences and businesses included in this list 
  • Professional services such as legal and accounting services for businesses included in this list
  • News media
  • Child care facilities that provide services to employees of businesses included in this list.
  • Ride-hailing services like Uber, Lyft and delivery drivers are also essential services

We strongly suggest that you refer to your local government’s shelter-in-place business restrictions and consider this list as guidance (unless you’re also based in Dallas).

You will notice that although outside sales functions are mostly unable to operate in a face-to-face format, many businesses are still able to service their customers. Please reference other parts of the SPOTIO virtual field sales resource center to find ways to continue to drive revenue during these times. 


Questions or comments? Contact SPOTIO at [email protected] or comment below.

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