Catawba County News

Business Guidance: North Carolina Stay at Home Order

Business Guidance: North Carolina Stay at Home Order

Published: March 27, 2020

With the release of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s Stay at Home Order, effective March 30, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., local businesses may have questions about whether or not the Order applies to them. Businesses are advised to consult the Executive Order to determine if they are considered an Essential Business and allowed to remain open. Businesses excluded from the list of Essential Businesses and Operations in the Stay at Home Order may direct requests to be included to the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR).

NCDOR Website:


NCDOR Phone: 1-877-252-3052

Stay at Home Order:

Stay at Home Order FAQ:

According to the Order, essential businesses and operations includes the following businesses, not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions. Review the order for details to self-determine if you meet these specifications.

  • Businesses that meet social distancing requirements
  • Businesses operating in CISA identified sectors
  • Healthcare and public health operations
  • Human services operations
  • Essential infrastructure operations
  • Essential governmental operations
  • Stores that sell groceries and medicine
  • Food, beverage production and agriculture
  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services
  • Religious entitites
  • Media
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
  • Financial and insurance institutions
  • Home improvement, hardware and supply stores
  • Critical trades,
  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
  • Educational institutions
  • Laundry services
  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises
  • Supplies to work from home
  • Supplies for COVID-19 essential businesses and operations
  • Transportation
  • Home-bases care and services
  • Residential facilities and shelters
  • Professional services
  • Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries
  • Defense and military contractors
  • hotels and motels
  • Funeral services
  • Additional COVID-19 essential retail businesses, which include electronic retailers that sell cell phones, book stores that sell educational material, beer, wine, and liquor stores, gas stations and convenience stores, pet and feed stores, lawn and garden equipment retailers

From the FAQ:

What businesses may remain open?
Essential businesses as defined in the Order may remain open. Other non-essential businesses must remain closed unless permitted by the Secretary of Revenue. Establishments required to close under previous executive orders must remain closed. 
Does my business need any documentation to continue operating?
Businesses and not-for-profit organizations that are deemed essential as defined by the Order do not need any documentation from the State to continue operations.  Employees are not required to have specific documentation to report to work under this Order.
What if my business is not listed as essential and I cannot conduct business operations and maintain social distancing between employees?
If your business is not included in the list of Essential Businesses and Operations and you believe it is essential, you can submit an application to the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR).  NCDOR will review applications to determine whether the business is necessary to properly respond to this COVID-19 pandemic. NCDOR will post on its website a point of contact and procedures for businesses seeking an essential designation.
What if my business does not fall within an exception and must close?
Businesses that are required to cease all activities are still allowed to continue Minimum Basic Operations. These operations include activities necessary to maintain the value of the business’s inventory; preserve the condition of the business’s physical plant and equipment; ensure security; process payroll and employee benefits, or related functions; and, activities to support employees who are working remotely. However, employees must comply with social distancing requirements, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations.

If my business was previously required to close under an Executive Order or a local Stay at Home order, are there any circumstances under this Order that would allow me to re-open?  

What if I still have to go to work?
Businesses have been encouraged to implement remote working policies for their employees. If you have been designated essential by your employer, you should continue to go to work and practice social distancing to the extent possible.

Where can I report a business that is operating in violation of the Order?
Governor Cooper is seeking voluntary cooperation from all state residents and businesses to ensure the health and safety of our communities. If voluntary cooperation is not achieved, state and local law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce the Order.