How to Apply for ‘Essential’ Status in New York and New Jersey

New Jersey is the latest state to join New York in ordering residents to stay home, and appliance stores to close as “non-essential” businesses.

However, both states also provide a means for retailers to request a re-designation as essential.

In New York, retailers may make their case for essential status by completing this form.

In New Jersey, retailers may apply for essential status by contacting the State Director of Emergency Management at NJEOC@gw.njsp.org. The Director “has the discretion to make additions, amendments, clarifications, exceptions, and exclusions to these lists,” the state said.

Appliance and electronics stores are unaffected by stay-at-home orders in California, Illinois and Oregon, while the sixth state to impose such measures, Connecticut, has not yet specified which retail businesses may remain open, citing only “vendors of essential services and goods necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses.” A determination was expected by Sunday evening, March 22.