Senator Pat Browne E-Newsletter

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Clarification on the Governor’s Order, and Information and Resources Available for Those Affected by Coronavirus Shutdown

Resources and information are available to businesses and employees who have been affected by Governor Wolf’s order yesterday for nonessential businesses to close due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) concerns.

At the request of legislators and business leaders, Governor Wolf clarified yesterday which businesses are considered to be nonessential and would be strongly urged or mandated to close for the next 14 days as a result of his order.

According to the governor, nonessential businesses include entertainment, hospitality and recreation facilities. This includes community and recreation centers; gyms, including yoga, barre and spin facilities; hair salons and barber shops, nail salons and spas; casinos; concert venues; theaters; sporting event venues and golf courses; retail facilities, including shopping malls except for pharmacy or other health care facilities within retail operations.

The governor’s mandate called for all restaurants and bars to close their dine-in facilities, but may continue to offer carry-out, delivery and drive-through services.

Essential industries that were not part of the mandated closure and should continue to operate include food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, grocery and household goods (including convenience stores), home repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices and shipping outlets, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging.

Other businesses are encouraged to allow employees to work remotely or telecommute if possible.

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) is expected to offer loans that could assist businesses affected by COVID-19. Information will be posted to www.dced.pa.gov/resources  as it becomes available.

The Strategic Early Warning Network, administered by the Department of Labor and Industry, offers resources to help small and medium-sized business, including business planning resources and contingency planning, at www.steelvalley.org/coronavirus .

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry also has a webpage dedicated to helping businesses deal with coronavirus concerns at www.pachamber.org/coronavirus .

Employees who are unable to work because of COVID-19 may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation or workers’ Compensation. The Department of Labor and Industry offers guidance to employees on this issue at www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx .

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