Which Businesses are “Essential” or “Critical” under the South Carolina Executive Orders?

Beginning last week on Wednesday, April 1st, in South Carolina non-essential businesses, venues, facilities, and services were ordered to be closed to non-employees and the public. In the latest Executive Orders issued on April 3 rd & 6th, South Carolina Governor McMaster has further defined which businesses must be closed. The latest “Home or Work Order” ( No. 2020-21 ), which limits movement outside the home, went into effect on Tuesday, April 7 that 5:00 pm and will remain in effect for the duration of the South Carolina State of Emergency. Under Executive Order No. 2020-15 , the State of Emergency is currently set to expire on April 12 th , but it will likely be extended. Which businesses may be exempt from the Executive Orders? The latest Executive Order, No. 2020-21 , creates an exception “ for purposes of engaging in Essential Business, Essential Activities, or Critical Infrastructure Operations.” We at BridgehouseLaw have found that many clients qualify as “Critical Infrastructure Operations” according to the Advisory Memorandum on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce , because they are involved in the supply chain of these critical infrastructure sectors. The memorandum, issued by the US Department of Homeland Security, identifies 16 sectors whose systems, networks, and/or operations are considered so vital that their incapacitation would have a debilitating effect on national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof. These 16 critical sectors include: Chemical Sector Financial Services Sector Commercial Facilities Sector Food and Agriculture Sector Communications Sector Government Facilities Sector Critical Manufacturing Sector Healthcare and Public Health Sector Dams Sector Information Technology Sector Defense Industrial Base Sector Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector Emergency Services Sector Transportation Systems Sector Energy Sector Water and Wastewater Systems Sector Please contact us if you need guidance determining whether or not your business qualifies to continue operations due to its involvement in one of these Critical Infrastructure Sectors. In the event that your business qualifies as critical or essential under one of the exceptions, we recommend that your staff be equipped with a letter stating the specific justification for the exemption. BridgehouseLaw can assist in drafting such a Letter.

Madeline Person, Attorney (NC)
Post: April 8, 2020