What Are Non Essential Businesses? Explained With Examples In 2021

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Santosh Pradhan is a deep thinker with a passion for psychology, personal development, and career planning. He adds value to people’s lives with his writing and sharing his insights on various topics. He is always open to exploring new things and bringing ideas to the table.

The Covid19 lockdown has made us realize a lot of things. We never knew before that so many people can work from home. We did not even know that the world looks different when humans are not roaming around the street.

Similarly, we did not know that there are essential businesses and there are non-essential businesses. Hence, the lockdown imposed that non-essential businesses should not open during that period to help people keep safe. So, let’s have a look at this concept.

What Are Non-Essential Businesses?

Non-Essential BusinessesNot every business out there serves our necessities. Some of them also serve our entertainment needs and luxurious choices. Non-essential businesses are those entities that help us relax from our mundane lives. During the pandemic lockdown, these businesses were the first to close and will be the last to reopen. 

Restaurants, theatres, museums, bars, gymnasiums, beauty parlours, shopping malls- everything fall into the list of non-essential businesses. There are also concert venues, sporting venues, casinos, bowling alleys, recreational centres, racetracks, spas, and salons that complete the list of non-essential businesses. 

We consider them non-essential because, as the name suggests, we don’t need them in our day-to-day life to survive. When the world is facing such challenging situations due to the pandemic, it is mandatory to close the non-essential businesses to live a little longer. You won’t watch a movie in a theatre if you fall sick, but you will require food even if you are sick. That’s the fundamental difference between an essential and a non-essential business.

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The Impact Of The Non-Essential Business Closure

Non-Essential Businesses

Many governments across the world have ordered the closure of non-essential businesses during the pandemic. They have separated workers as essentials and as non-essentials. Thus, some employees are still working as frontline employees while their counterparts are sitting at home. No matter how ridiculous it sounds, it is the only way to survive this pandemic. 

However, with each passing day, the non-essential businesses are also starting to open one by one. So it’s not like that the list of non-essential companies is opening all at once. Instead, governments are assessing one’s risk of being covid positive at the non-essential businesses, and thus they are ordering them to reopen. 

The intrahousehold transmission risk is also essential to assess the non-essential business employees by their cohabiting family members or roommates. Essential workers are 55% more vulnerable to be covid positive than their non-essential counterparts. So, the closure of non-essential businesses has protected a lot of people. 

But, if you belong to a non-essential business and your roommate belongs to an essential industry, there is a 38% risk of you being covid positive. If you have to cohabit with an essential worker, your chance of being covid positive increases by 17%. So, closing the non-essential businesses is not so effective because it is still making people covid positive. On top of that, people whose livelihood depends on these businesses are suffering from significant financial crises. 

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How Do We Differentiate Between Essential And Non-Essential Businesses?

Non-Essential Businesses

During the pandemic of recent years, it has been mandatory for us to close the non-essential businesses. But, how, do we know which ones are essential and which ones are non-essential?

For example, if you take the supermarkets, they fall into the essential business category because they are the primary source of getting groceries. The producers of cardboard, and plastic materials, financial advisors, cleaning companies, truckers, mechanical service stations-everyone will become an essential business. But are they genuinely essential? Let’s find out.

We must understand essential businesses are the ones that give us our necessities. For example, medicine stores, grocery stores, banks, hospitals, clinics, food retailers, newsagents, hardware stores are essential businesses. We need all these people in our day-to-day life just to survive. You have to have access to a bank to withdraw money, you must have access to grocery stores to make food, and you must have access to medicine shops if you fall sick. 

But, if we don’t go to the gym, will it stop our life? I mean, we can always exercise at home. So there are replacements of a gymnasium, which is why they are non-essential businesses. Will you die if you don’t go to a movie theatre? Indeed you will be bored, but you can always watch them on your phone. So, you must understand the services that don’t have any substitutes are essential businesses. However, the services that have alternates and won’t hamper our life status in any way are the non-essential businesses. 

Putting It All Together

The list of non-essential businesses is almost the same as the list of essential enterprises. So, it had generated a significant financial crisis worldwide when the government decided to close the non-essential businesses. They were a huge source of employment, so with so many non-essential companies closing down, the government should do something for the people whose lives depend on them. 

The government is shutting down these businesses temporarily for our benefit, and we know that. But, if we don’t die from the Covid19 virus, we will die from starvation if we don’t have an income source. So, it’s time for us to prioritize the non-essential business workers as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions :

1: Why Are Non-Essential Businesses Important?

Ans: Non-essential businesses might not be as important as saving our lives, but they are important too. These enterprises generate a massive annual revenue that increases your nation’s overall GDP. They are an enormous source of employment, so if these businesses are shut down, there will be a massive recession. 

2: Which Businesses Are More Customer-Centric Between The Essential And Non-Essential Ones?

Ans: Both kinds of enterprises are customer-centric because, without customers, no business can flourish. But, if we still have to compare, we would say the non-essential businesses are more customer-centric. We need to go to the essential companies no matter their behaviour because we can’t survive without them. But, for the non-essential companies, we may choose not to go there if they don’t satisfy our needs.

3: Can An Enterprise Be Both Essential And Non-Essential?

Ans: No, a business cannot be essential and non-essential at the same time. If they have a replacement, they will always be considered as non-essential businesses. However, if not, they will fall on the essential business list. 

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