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SGIA Issues Statement on Whether Printing is Essential Business

Printing businesses face different conditions contingent on local regulations.




The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA; Fairfax, VA) issued the following statement on March 24:

“The rapidly evolving coronavirus situation has caused federal, state, and local government to take unprecedented actions to combat the spread of the virus. Many states and localities are now issuing strict orders to citizens to shelter in place or stay at home and for all non-essential businesses to close. This has caused confusion around which businesses beyond the obvious (i.e., pharmacies, hospitals, grocery stores) ones are considered essential and allowed to remain open.

“In most instances, printing is considered an essential business. The products produced by the printing industry support many life-sustaining businesses ranging from medical device component manufacturing, food and pharmaceutical packing and labels and other critical information and need to remain open. Therefore, SGIA has been supporting the effort to educate state governors and other key officials about the significance of printing and the need to have printing remain open during the lockdown.

The decision to declare a business or industry such as the printing industry an essential business is being made by each governor, mayor or similar official. Even though the Department of Homeland Security has a list of essential businesses that need to remain open, it is only a voluntary list and it does not specifically mention printing and support activities. This means each state considering such an order needs to be contacted and educated about the significance of printing and that it needs to be declared an essential business.

To date, there has been success with Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, where printing and related support activities have been specifically declared as essential and allowed to remain open. Illinois has also stated that manufacturing, distribution and supply chains for critical products and industries can remain open and that printing falls under this category.

Efforts are underway to get printing declared essential in California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Dallas County, Kansas City Counties, and Broward County (FL).


For more information, please contact the SGIA Government Affairs Department at [email protected].



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