Ensure Your Company is an “Essential Business” in Your State

States are currently racing to determine what industries and companies will be permitted to remain open when COVID-19 shutdowns occur.

The federal government recently issued guidance for states outlining “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.” These guidelines were announced by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Please note that these guidelines are advisory to states and localities, not mandatory. While some states may specifically reference CISA’s guidance, others are likely to make their own determinations.

You should review these guidelines, and similar requirements as issued by your state. Regarding the CISA guidance, equipment dealers likely fit into more than one category, including:

“Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential public works facilities and operations, including bridges, water and sewer main breaks, fleet maintenance personnel, construction of critical or strategic infrastructure, traffic signal maintenance, emergency location services for buried utilities, maintenance of digital systems infrastructure supporting public works operations, and other emergent issues.”

According to CISA, these guidelines are intended to be construed broadly. We’ve been told the document will be altered and amended by the federal government and is not in the final form. However, this guidance may be used by state and local officials, and interpretations could vary by locality.

AED continues to work with CISA on its guidance. Earlier today, AED joined other construction organizations urging the Trump administration and governors to recognize that the entire construction industry and companies that support it should be deemed “essential”.

What Should You Do?

AED members must continue to weigh-in with state governments to ensure the industry is deemed “essential.” Yesterday, AED joined the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the Equipment Dealers Association to urge state governors to recognize the essential role that the entire equipment industry, including equipment manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and service technicians, play to support critical infrastructure projects.

We recommend that you forward the letter (to download the letter for your state, click here) or any of the letters linked below to your governor’s office.

Also, it’s crucial that your customers understand that even if construction workers are deemed “essential” that doesn’t necessarily mean that the companies that sell, rent and service the equipment will be categorized similarly. Consequently, contact your customers and local customers groups (local AGC, ARTBA, etc., chapters), to urge them to also weigh-in with governors to ensure companies that supply the vital equipment, parts and services can continue to operate.

To view the letter to the League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, click here.

To view the letter to the National Governors Association, click here.

To view the construction industry letter to President Trump, click here.

Contact AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher with questions or input.