Press Releases

For Immediate Release
March 20, 2020

For more information, contact
Tricia Harris, | 717.720.5447

PA Chamber, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce Issue Joint Statement on Governor’s COVID-19 Emergency Order to Close “Non-Life-Sustaining” Businesses


HARRISBURG - Late yesterday, Gov. Tom Wolf issued an order for all “non-life-sustaining businesses” in the Commonwealth to close their physical locations.  A list of businesses and industries and their classification can be found here.  That order was effective at 8 p.m. last evening with enforcement slated to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, March 21. At the same time, the governor announced enforcement actions against food and liquor establishments that have failed to comply with a previous order. That enforcement began at 8 p.m. last night (March 19).  PA Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia President and CEO Rob Wonderling and Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce President Matt Smith issued the following joint statement regarding the governor’s order.


“While we understand the need for strong measures to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many of the industries listed as “non-life-sustaining businesses” in the governor’s order are in fact part of the supply chain for other businesses listed as being a “life-sustaining” business.


“We understand that there may be confusion among the state’s business community regarding whether or not they are considered to be a “life-sustaining” business.  The Department of Community and Economic Development has set up two e-mails regarding this issue. We encourage employers with questions about whether their organization needs to close to contact DCED at ra-dcedcs@pa.govThe Department has also dedicated the following e-mail,, for businesses seeking an exemption to the order.


“We are working with the administration to seek further clarification and modification of the order and will be providing updates to the state’s broad-based business community as we receive them.  Updates will be posted on the PA Chamber’s website,”


The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.