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S.C. Dept. of Commerce releases 'clarification' list for essential businesses

Businesses originally deemed nonessential, can ask the SC Dept. of Commerce for a clarification notice to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — As questions continue surrounding which businesses are essential and which are nonessential, the South Carolina Department of Commerce has released a list of businesses that received a "clarification."

The Dept. of Commerce originally had a list of non-essential business categories, but recently released as spreadsheet that includes businesses that applied for a "clarification" notice.

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According to the Associated Press, Commerce attorney Karen Manning wrote  that Governor Henry McMaster had asked the department “to keep businesses open wherever possible,” noting that “some businesses, which on their face appear to be” nonessential, “may be authorized to be open” because they sell something that is essential, such as appliances.

The list shows businesses that applied for the notification between April 4-10, 2020.

There are more than 1,800 businesses in the state on the list.

In the Midlands, there are 382 businesses that applied. However, 16 of them did not get the "essential" status.

In Richland County, businesses ranged from vape shops, to dog groomers, to beauty supply stores.

When asked about why some businesses can remain open and others can't Governor McMaster said the state was trying to keep as many businesses open as possible. 

"If it's open, it's open," says Gov. McMaster. That business may not be essential to you or me, but it certainly is essential to that business owner, who may have spent his or her lifetime building it up to where it is and after two or three weeks of being shut down, it might not open back up."

Here is the list of businesses that received a "clarification" from the Dept. of Commerce.