Many of you have contacted the Board and asked for the Board’s opinion regarding whether landscape contracting is an “essential service” or “essential business” and thus exempt from some the restrictions found in the recent N.C. Executive Orders and several proclamations and orders issued by cities and counties throughout North Carolina.
Please understand that each of these local orders and proclamations being issued are enforced by the counties and cities that issued them. As such, the Board does not have the authority and is unable to take a position on this issue and encourages you to contact the issuing jurisdiction.
As of this time we are not aware of a decision by the Governor or General Assembly concerning the designation of landscape businesses as essential and exempt from shelter-in-place orders which could supersede local, municipal or county shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order.
As for the N.C. Executive Orders, the Board has been provided with a letter from N.C. Department of Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler which may provide some guidance. There are two documents which you may want to use if asked about your work:
- This document titled, Notice of Essential Food and Agricultural Employee can be found HERE. Fill out this form and distribute this form to your employees as needed to keep with them on the job.
- The second document is a letter from Commissioner Troxler which should be helpful to law enforcement and other North Carolina officials notifying them about essential employees in the agriculture and green industry. You can download the Commissioner’s letter HERE. Keep a copy of this letter for your records and provide a copy for your employees to carry as they perform their essential services.
It is uncertain how county and local municipalities will construe this guidance and you are encouraged to contact the official authority issuing the shelter-in-place or stay-at -home order for clarification. Use this information as you see fit.
It is hoped that if the Governor or General Assembly issues a decision designating essential businesses that such a decision will mirror the guidance from Homeland Security and stipulate landscape businesses as essential and exempt from shelter-in-place or stay-at -home orders.
If the Board receives any additional definitive information that directly affects licensed landscape contractors relative to this situation, we will provide that information via email and on the Board’s website and Facebook page.
The information provided in this post is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed. The North Carolina Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board disclaims liability for any errors or omissions.