BRAC’s March 23 COVID-19 Brief: What is an “Essential Industry?”

Yesterday, Governor John Bel Edwards issued a Stay-at-Home order for the state of Louisiana, limiting those that will go to work every day to Louisiana citizens in “essential industries” only. But what exactly is an essential industry?

The Governor is following guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Here’s a quick way to determine if your company, industry, or occupation is deemed “essential:”

  1. Is your business or the sector in which your business operates on the list expressly directed to close in Section 4 of the Governor’s Stay at Home order? Then you’re closed.
  2. Is your business or the sector in which your business operates on the CISA list of 16 critical sectors (and not in Section 4 of the executive order)? Then you’re open.


Still unsure? The Governor’s office offered additional details on industries and sectors in the CISA list,  which clarified specific activities within the following sectors:

  • Essential Infrastructure (food production, construction, maintenance, telecommunications, airport operations, etc.)
  • Charitable and Social Services (food banks, shelter, etc.)
  • Hardware and Supply Stores (electrical, plumbing, heating materials, etc.)
  • Building, Construction, and Other Critical Trades (plumbers, security, HVAC, etc.)
  • Manufacturing, Sales, or Supply for Essential Businesses and Operations (computers, hardware, hygiene products, food and beverages, etc.)
  • Residential Facilities and Shelters (facilities for adults, seniors, children, domestic abuse shelters, etc.)
  • Manufacture, Distribution, and Supply Chain for Critical Products and Industries (energy, chemicals, steel, petroleum, construction, mining, food and beverage, etc.)
  • Hotels and Motels (lodging and delivery/carry-out food)


Your company’s HR manager likely also has guidance available. We are regularly updating with resources and guidance related to COVID-19. BRAC is committed to helping our local business community. Reach out to our team with questions.

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