Update on Printing for Essential Business in New York

For the last several weeks we have been working on the essential business issue in New York State. We were pleased with last week’s announcement of the recognition of printing as an essential business when work is being done for an essential business. While this was a clarification of existing policy, it was an important clarification and the fact that printing is now included on the official list is a good sign. There were additional business categories added to the essential list last week, as well. We encourage you to review the updated list carefully as you may find you have customers that you can print for. Here is a link to the new list: https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026

Recent Development

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order has exempted state and local governments from the business reductions that the private sector has been operating under, stating:

State and local governments, including municipalities, authorities, and school districts, are exempt from these essential business reductions, but are subject to other provisions that restrict non-essential, in-person workforce and other operations under Executive Order 202.

We have been asking ESD for days if the exemption for state and local municipalities meant that printing firms could perform work for them. We received the following response last Friday:

Dear Mr. Freeman,

According to the Executive Order, essential services under printing and copiers are deemed essential when designing, printing, publishing and signage companies to the extent that they support essential businesses or services. 

This would be applicable to printing services for exempt state and local government entities as well.

Please also continue to comply with all other Executive Orders and recommendations from the New York State Department of Health.

If you still have questions, please visit the COVID-19 FAQ section of our website at https://esd.ny.gov/novel-coronavirus-faq-businesses


Empire State Development

While it is a little vague, some business owners may read this and decide it covers any taxpayer funded printing, including SUNY and make a business decision to perform the work.


Please contact us if you have any questions on this matter.


Very truly yours,
Tim Freeman, President
Print & Graphic Communications Association
Office: (716) 691-3211
Cell: (716) 983-3826



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