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Today is the last day for businesses to apply for non-life-sustaining waiver; 5,693 approved

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Businesses have until 5 p.m. today to apply to the state Department of Community and Economic Development for a waiver to be open during the COVID-19 emergency.

Businesses that DCED considers non-life-sustaining but may provide a life-sustaining service can seek an exemption to DCED online.

Businesses will be notified by email if they can reopen. Businesses applying for an exemption must remain closed until a decision is made on their application.

DCED had received 35,373 requests for exemptions as of the end of Thursday, April 2, spokeswoman Rachel Wrigley told the Press & Journal. Gov. Tom Wolf said Friday afternoon that the deadline will not be extended.

To date DCED has approved 5,693 waiver requests and denied 8,952. In another 8,365 requests no waiver was needed for the activity for which the business sought an exemption. The remaining amount have not been acted on yet.

There are about 1 million businesses in Pennsylvania, meaning that assuming no duplicate applications, roughly 3 percent of businesses in the state have applied for waivers, Wrigley added.

A team of DCED professionals reviews each request and will respond based on the guiding principal of balancing public safety while ensuring the continued delivery of critical infrastructure services and functions, DCED said in a press release.

Businesses seeking further guidance and clarification from DCED can contact its customer service resource account at ra-dcedcs@pa.gov.