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Posted on: April 17, 2020

City Clarifies Non-Essential Business Rules & Calls Emergency Council Workshop for April 20

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The City of Portland is seeking to clarify its rules for non-essential businesses related to the City’s emergency Stay at Home order, and as a result the Portland City Council will hold an emergency remote workshop on Monday, April 20 at 5:30 PM to discuss these rules in more detail.  

The City of Portland will permit non-essential business activity such as shipping, no-contact delivery, and curbside pick-up in order to fulfill online and phone orders until the City Council makes any changes to the State of Emergency and Requirement to Stay Home Order. Businesses still need to ensure social distancing safety practices are followed and the least number of employees are used to conduct this business. 

“From the beginning, our response to COVID-19 has been aggressively cautious in hopes that we could stem the spread of the virus, and that collective efforts would allow us to resume normal operations sooner rather than later,” said Mayor Kate Snyder. “Throughout it all, we have been and remain very concerned about the impacts that the Stay At Home restrictions would have on our local business community in Portland. It’s important to note that the City Council did not change the language or its interpretation of the Emergency Stay at Home Order for non-essential business operations at the April 14 meeting. The rules have been the same since March 16, however, we understand that intent has been interpreted differently, which is why we are calling an emergency workshop to further discuss our Order and ensure clarity for the local business community going forward.” 

“Since our very first proclamation on March 16, Mayor Snyder and I expressed deep concern over the impact that COVID-19 will have on the residents and the business community in Portland,” said City Manager Jon Jennings. “I am glad that the City Council will meet on Monday to discuss the current rules. In the interim, after consultation with members of the City Council, I have directed City staff to permit certain business activities for non-essential businesses, such as shipping, no-contact delivery, and curbside pick-up in order to fulfill online and phone orders until the City Council makes any changes to the State of Emergency and Requirement to Stay Home Order.”

At its Tuesday, April 14 meeting, the Portland City Council further discussed and approved an order Replacing the List of Essential Services in the Proclamation Declaring a Continued State of Emergency and Requirement to Stay Home (Order 156)

To access the materials and log-in information for the April 20 workshop, please visit www.portlandmaine.gov/agendas. 

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