essential business houstonAfter Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Houston’s Stay Home, Work Safe order, readers have been expressing confusion of the meaning of the term “essential business.” Now that the text of the order is available, we have a bit better of an idea.

Here are 49 businesses specifically listed in the order as being classified “essential”:

  1. Grocery stores
  2. Furniture supplies
  3. Big box stores
  4. Bodegas
  5. Liquor stores
  6. Gas stations
  7. Convenience stores
  8. Farmer’s markets
  9. Farms
  10. Ranches
  11. Canneries
  12. Bottling facilities
  13. Restaurants for drive-thru, delvery, and carry-out
  14. Schools providing free services for pick-up or take-out
  15. Laundromats
  16. Dry Cleaners
  17. Auto supply
  18. Bike repair
  19. Hardware stores
  20. Stores supplying products for work-from-home
  21. Trash and recycling collection
  22. Mail and shipping services
  23. Pool cleaners
  24. Funeral homes
  25. Crematoriums
  26. Yard maintenance
  27. Plumbers
  28. Electricians
  29. Exterminators
  30. Housekeeping services
  31. Janitorial staff
  32. Childcare and adult care facilities that provide services for employees exempted to work during Stay Home, Stay Safe
  33. Car dealerships
  34. Parts distributors
  35. Vehicle manufacturers
  36. Uber, Lyft, taxis, and other public transport for employees exempted to work in the order
  37. NASA
  38. Port of Houston
  39. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services
  40. Hospitals
  41. Clinics
  42. Dentists
  43. Pharmacies
  44. Mental health providers
  45. Veterinary facilities
  46. Blood banks
  47. Substance abuse providers
  48. Lab services
  49. Businesses that provide assistance to economically disadvantaged

Keep in mind, this list is not necessarily all-inclusive. It just covers many of the types of businesses specifically listed in the order. If you question whether your business or place of work is considered an “essential business,” you can direct your questions to

You may also be interested in our article on “essential activities” here.