April 27, 2020

Concerning the recent opening of businesses that have not been determined essential under Executive Order 121, and have applied for and received a letter from North Carolina Department of Revenue, there may be some ambiguity and as Mayor, I am clarifying this issue.

The letter states: “The Department has received your request for designation as an essential business for the purposes of Executive Order No. 121 issued by the Governor of North Carolina. After carefully reviewing your application, the Department has determined that your business does not qualify to be designated essential under Sections 2(C)(2)-(30) of the Executive Order.” (The next sentence in the letter creates the ambiguity): “However, your business may continue to operate so long as it can operate in accordance with the following Social Distancing Requirements in Executive Order No. 121:

The last paragraph, in the letter, which will clear up any doubt as to why businesses determined not essential under Executive Order 121 should remain closed: “This letter solely addresses whether your business qualifies to continue operating under Executive Order 121. Under the Executive Order, local governments are authorized to establish more restrictive standards governing the operation of businesses during this public health emergency.”

Therefore, all businesses to be determined not essential by the Governor’s Executive Order 121 and all businesses determined to be not essential by the N. C. Department of Revenue are hereby ordered to be closed in the City of Southport immediately.

Any person who violates this proclamation or any provision of any executive order issued by the Governor shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor pursuant to N.C.G.S. 166A-19.31(h) and N.C.G.S. 14-288.20A.
The Governor has extended his Executive Order until May 8th and there will be a determination by the Governor as to when not essential business can be opened.

Joseph P. Hatem MD, MPH
Mayor, City of Southport

Southport-Third Revision Emergency Proclamation 4-28-20