Contract Surety

New York Updates Guidance for “Essential” and “Nonessential” Businesses


New York’s Empire State Development (ESD) published updated direction for determining if services or businesses are deemed “essential” under new executive orders issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 9, 2020. The following construction projects subject to permits issued by the NYC Department of Buildings or otherwise regulated by the NYC Electrical Codes and NYC Construction Codes are allowed to continue business operations:

1)    Emergency Construction

Projects needed to safeguard the safety and health of occupants, including:

– Restoration of essential services—hot water, cold water, heat, electricity, gas, etc.

– Work necessary to tackle any condition requiring corrective action that severely affects health, property, life, safety, or a large amount of people

– Emergency work requested by the Department.

Congruently, this also includes construction required to maintain a project if it would be unsafe to let work remain uncompleted, but only to the point that it is safe to suspend work.

2) “Essential” Construction

This includes:

  • Utilities
  • Homeless shelters
  • Transit facilities on private properties
  • Hospital or health care facilities
  • Private or public schools
  • Construction work that is being completed by a single worker who is the sole employee/worker on at the job sites.
  • Construction for projects in the energy industry in accordance with Question 14 in the FAQ at
  • Construction for existing/underway projects of “essential” businesses that do not fall under the categories listed in Section 2(a) through 2(g)
    • Defined as alterations to existing buildings of essential businesses with construction permits issued prior to April 15, 2020.
  • Public and affordable housing, including:
    • Construction work on a private or multiple dwelling or real property where either a minimum of 20% of the residential units are or will be deemed affordable and are or will be subject to a regulatory agreement and/or a declaration from a local, state, or federal government agency.
    • Construction work where the project is being undertaken by, or on behalf of, a public housing authority.

We can help your business comply with these updates. If you are a public contractor in the state of New York, it is vital you obtain a performance and payment bond. Colonial Surety Company provides a direct, digital way to secure a surety line of credit. You can apply online today and we will review your submission. Once approved, you gain access to The Partnership Account® for Contractors. The benefits of joining include power of attorney and corporate seal to issue your own bids bonds, direct access to the underwriter, lines in writing with exceptions if needed, complete security, and control over your business. Apply now