On Saturday, March 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy ordered all retail and non-essential businesses to close indefinitely. Businesses that will be permitted to remain open fall within the “essential” category, while others, such as law firms, accounting firms, financial institutions, etc., will be permitted to remain open. However, they must provide accommodation to their employees to work from home. If such businesses require employees on-site, staff must be reduced to the minimal number needed to continue critical operations. The rule of thumb is that people should not be outside of their homes unless they absolutely need to be.

See lists below of businesses that are ordered to close and businesses that can remain open.


Essential businesses include:

  • Banks/Financial Institutions
  • Car Garages/Dealerships, but only to perform vehicle maintenance
  • Convenience Stores
  • Gas Stations
  • Grocery Stores (also retail stores such as Walmart and Target)
  • Hardware Stores/Home Improvement
  • Laundromats/Dry-Cleaning Stores
  • Liquor Stores
  • Mail and Delivery Stores
  • Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
  • Medical Supply Stores and Facilities that provide therapeutic services
  • Office Supply Stores/Printing
  • Pet Stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Restaurants (only take-out or delivery); with outdoor entrances only at shopping malls. Restaurants with indoor entrances in malls must close.

Some businesses may fall into a blanket exemption category, which may also continue to operate. Such businesses include:

  • Food banks and other type services for low-income residents
  • Government Offices and Federal buildings
  • Health care or medical providers
  • Law Enforcement and Public Safety
  • Media

Businesses that are required to close include the following:

  • All retail businesses with a physical address that serves the public must close. Business can continue online and via delivery.
  • Entertainment businesses and recreation, including concert halls, movie theaters, malls, nightclubs, casinos and gaming rooms, racetracks, gyms and fitness centers, amusement parks, libraries, tattoo parlors, zoos, water parks, aquariums, bowling alleys, barbershops and beauty salons, nail salons, bars that do not offer takeout, schools and educational instructions (elementary to collegiate level) and all other places of public gathering.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact us at 201-896-4100.