UPDATED: States Declare Home Improvement Stores ‘Essential’ Amid Shutdowns

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As the effects of COVID-19 touch every aspect of retail, cities and states across the U.S. are declaring home improvement stores “essential” and allowing them to remain open to continue serving communities.

On March 16, the North American Retail Hardware Association and leaders from several home improvement companies urged lawmakers to deem home improvement stores essential to public safety. Read the letter in full.

California

On March 19, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order stating all nonessential workers should stay home to stem the spread of the virus.

Hardware stores were exempted from the order and considered part of the state’s “essential infrastructure.”

Connecticut

Gov. Ned Lamont has ordered nonessential businesses to cease operations from March 23 to April 22. Hardware stores were listed as essential businesses and allowed to continue serving communities.

Delaware

Gov. John Carney has issued a shelter-in-place order, but allowed residents to leave their homes to seek “products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.” Hardware stores were permitted to remain open.

Florida

Gov. DeSantis has issued an executive order mandating bars, beaches, restaurants and other nonessential businesses to temporarily close. Hardware stores will continue serving their customers.

Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered residents to stay at home. His office issued a declaration saying that nonessential businesses must cease operations. Hardware stores were permitted to keep their doors open to ensure customers had access to vital supplies to protect their properties.

Indiana

Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a stay-at-home order to Indiana residents, permitting only essential businesses to remain open. Hardware and supply stores will be deemed essential and remain open.

Kentucky

Gov. Beshear has issued an executive order mandating all nonessential businesses close. As of March 23, hardware and home improvement stores were considered essential and allowed to continue operations.

Louisiana

Gov. Jon Bel Edwards has issued a stay-at-home order for state residents, but has allowed hardware stores to continue retail operations.

Maryland

Gov. Larry Hogan has mandated all nonessential businesses be temporarily closed. No official guidance has been offered regarding hardware stores, but “farms, food manufacturing plants, pet supply stores and companies that handle agricultural equipment can remain open” according to The Baltimore Sun.

Massachusetts

Gov. Charlie Baker has encouraged nonessential businesses to temporarily cease operations until at least April 7. Hardware stores were listed as essential businesses and permitted to continue serving customers.

Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has encouraged residents to stay in their homes until April 14. At this time, it is unclear whether hardware stores are considered essential businesses. The Detroit News reports “Critical infrastructure workers are defined as those in the fields of health care, law enforcement, public safety, food and agriculture, energy, water and wastewater, transportation, communications, other community-based government operations, critical manufacturing, hazardous materials, financial services, chemical supply chains and defense industrial base.”

Detroit has confirmed hardware stores will remain open to serve customers.

Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz has issued an order to stem the spread of COVID-19, and the Minnesota Department of Health is recommending hardware stores remain open to serve their communities.

Nevada

Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered nonessential businesses to close. Hardware stores are permitted to remain open to continue serving their communities.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered residents to stay at home and nonessential businesses to close, but has permitted hardware stores to remain open.

New Mexico

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has required nonessential workforce to work from home until at least April 10. Hardware stores were permitted to remain open during this period.

New York

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered nonessential businesses to keep their employees at home as the state’s total confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to more than 7,100 by March 20. Under the order, hardware stores were allowed to remain open.

Ohio

Gov. Michael DeWine has issued a statement encouraging residents to stay home. In Ohio, hardware stores are permitted to remain open.

Oregon

Gov. Kate Brown bans nonessential retail establishments from operating until April 14, 2020. Hardware stores are permitted to remain open.

Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the closure of all businesses that were “non-life-sustaining” to close as confirmed cases of COVID-19 rise. Hardware stores were exempt and are currently allowed to open their doors to customers.

Rhode Island

Gov. Gina Raimondo has closed certain nonessential retail establishments until at least March 30. No specific guidance for hardware stores has been issued as of March 24.

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order instructing residents to avoid social gatherings and prompting restaurants, bars and other establishments to temporarily close. Hardware stores have been permitted to continue serving customers.

West Virginia

Gov. Jim Justice has issued a stay-at-home order effective March 24. Hardware stores were considered essential retailers and permitted to remain open.

This article will be updated as more information comes available.

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