Gov. Henry McMaster orders all non-essential businesses in SC to close


Effective April 1 at 5 p.m., all non-essential businesses in the state of South Carolina must close.

The executive order, issued late Tuesday by Governor Henry McMaster, won’t immediately change much within the City of Charleston, where a stay at home ordinance is already in effect. In addition to the closure of non-essential businesses, the ordinance also orders everyone in the city of Charleston to stay at home for two weeks, with a few exceptions. More details on that here.

Also on Tuesday, Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie issued a ‘stay at home’ proclamation for the town. It goes into effect Thursday, April 2 at 12:01 a.m. and will last until Wednesday, April 15 at 12:01 a.m. 

Here’s what the executive order does impact: Non-essential businesses that were not already included in those ‘stay at home’ ordinances – including those in unincorporated parts of Charleston County and in neighboring municipalities – will now be forced to close.

The businesses listed below are considered non-essential under the new order.

Entertainment venues and facilities, including:

○ Night clubs
○ Bowling alleys
○ Arcades
○ Concert venues
○ Theaters, auditoriums, and performing arts centers
○ Tourist attractions (including museums, aquariums, and planetariums)
○ Racetracks
○ Indoor children’s play areas (excluding licensed daycare facilities)
○ Adult entertainment venues
○ Bingo halls
○ Venues operated by social clubs

Recreational and athletic facilities and activities, including:

○ Fitness and exercise centers and commercial gyms
○ Spas and public or commercial swimming pools
○ Group exercise facilities, to include yoga, barre, and spin studios or facilities
○ Spectator sports
○ Sports that involve interaction with another person in close proximity and within less than six (6) feet of another person
○ Activities that require the use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment
○ Activities on commercial or public playground equipment 

Close-contact service providers, including:
○ Barber shops
○ Hair salons
○ Waxing salons
○ Threading salons
○ Nail salons and spas
○ Body-art facilities and tattoo services
○ Tanning salons
○ Massage-therapy establishments and massage services

Retail stores, including:
○ Furniture and home-furnishings stores
○ Clothing, shoe and clothing-accessory stores
○ Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores
○ Department stores, with the exception of hardware and home-improvement stores
○ Sporting goods stores
○ Book, craft, and music stores
○ Flea markets
○ Florists and flower stores

Businesses who are not explicitly included on the list – including gas stations, grocery stores, banks and pharmacies – will be permitted to stay open.

Unsure whether your biz qualifies as “essential” or “non-essential”? You can request more information by filling out the Essential Business Clarification form on the South Carolina Department of Commerce website here. Business reps can also send questions about this to [email protected], or call 803-734-2873. Businesses can expect to receive a response to their request within 24 hours.