Here are the states with the most essential businesses

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A swath of the U.S. from the south Atlantic into the heartland has the greatest number of businesses deemed essential during stay-at-home orders. Nonessential businesses are now joining critical industries, opening their doors to the public for the first time in weeks as most state governors loosen COVID-19 restrictions.

Although essential businesses vary by state, they often belong to industries such as health care, food and agriculture, communications and emergency services. 

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Methodology

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

For this new study, LendingTree measured essential businesses in every state as defined by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

To rank the states with the most essential businesses, researchers analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s 2016 County Business Patterns Survey. We compared the total number of establishments in each state to the number of essential establishments. Essential businesses were defined according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The state with the largest number of essential businesses as a percent of total businesses ranked first. The state with the lowest figure ranked last.

Each state may have its own list of what businesses it considers essential. We used Minnesota’s list of critical industries because the list included NAICS codes, which allowed us to compare those industries to Census Bureau data. Workers in industries considered critical on this list qualify for Critical Sector worker exemption, meaning they may leave home during a stay-at-home order to go to work if they are not able to work from home. This does not necessarily mean that those workers’ employers will stay open. For example, many restaurants have closed or religious organizations were prohibited from holding services.

Here’s how the states rank when it comes to essential businesses:

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51. District of Columbia

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 23,400

Total essential businesses – 17,019

Percent of businesses considered essential – 72.8%

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50. Hawaii

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 32,609

Total essential businesses – 24,261

Percent of businesses considered essential –  74.5%

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49. Wisconsin

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 141,957

Total essential businesses – 107,856

Percent of businesses considered essential –  76%

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48. New York

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 546,422

Total essential businesses – 416,194

Percent of businesses considered essential –  76.2%

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47. Nevada

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 66,174

Total essential businesses – 50,758

Percent of businesses considered essential – 76.6%

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46. New Hampshire

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 38,121

Total essential businesses – 29,298

Percent of businesses considered essential – 76.7%

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45. Vermont

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 20,891

Total essential businesses – 16,090

Percent of businesses considered essential – 76.9%

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44. Alaska

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 21,071

Total essential businesses – 16,253

Percent of businesses considered essential – 77.1%

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43. Montana

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 37,930

Total essential businesses – 29,335

Percent of businesses considered essential – 77.3%

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42. California

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 940,190

Total essential businesses – 728,306

Percent of businesses considered essential – 77.5%

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41. South Dakota

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 26,835

Total essential businesses – 20,848

Percent of businesses considered essential – 77.8%

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40. Michigan

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 222,302

Total essential businesses – 172,922

Percent of businesses considered essential – 77.8%

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39. Maine

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 41,341

Total essential businesses – 32,193

Percent of businesses considered essential – 77.8%

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38. Minnesota

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 151,576

Total essential businesses – 118,126

Percent of businesses considered essential – 77.8%

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Tennessee

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 137,675

Total essential businesses – 107,335

Percent of businesses considered essential – 78%

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36. Ohio

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 252,817

Total essential businesses – 197,140

Percent of businesses considered essential – 78%

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35. Pennsylvania

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 302,554

Total essential businesses – 235,952

Percent of businesses considered essential – 78%

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34. Indiana

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 148,203

Total essential businesses – 115,737

Percent of businesses considered essential – 78%

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33. Rhode Island

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 28,540

Total essential businesses – 22,290

Percent of businesses considered essential – 78%

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32. Connecticut

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 89,334

Total essential businesses – 69,801

Percent of businesses considered essential – 78.1%

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31. Utah

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 79,898

Total essential businesses – 62,550

Percent of businesses considered essential – 78.1%

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30. Iowa

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 82,426

Total essential businesses – 64,602

Percent of businesses considered essential – 78.1%

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29. Florida

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 556,868

Total essential businesses – 438,046

Percent of businesses considered essential – 78.3%

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28. North Dakota

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 24,352

Total essential businesses – 19,165

Percent of businesses considered essential – 78.4%

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27. Delaware

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 25,176

Total essential businesses – 19,840

Percent of businesses considered essential – 78.7%

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26. Oregon

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 117,129

Total essential businesses – 92,344

Percent of businesses considered essential – 78.8%

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25. New Jersey

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 233,618

Total essential businesses – 184,557

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79%

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24. South Carolina

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 108,987

Total essential businesses – 86,101

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79%

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23. Wyoming

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 20,870

Total essential businesses – 16,489

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.1%

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22. North Carolina

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 233,042

Total essential businesses – 184,344

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.1%

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21. Kentucky

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 90,948

Total essential businesses – 71,974

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.1%

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20. Illinois

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 320,878

Total essential businesses – 254,016

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.2%

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19. New Mexico

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 43,767

Total essential businesses – 34,680

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.2%

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18. Massachusetts

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 179,444

Total essential businesses – 142,412

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.2%

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17. Missouri

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 150,153

Total essential businesses – 119,381

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.4%

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16. Arizona

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 143,024

Total essential businesses – 113,863

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.5%

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15. Georgia

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 233,169

Total essential businesses – 185,660

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.6%

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14. Nebraska

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 54,649

Total essential businesses – 43,547

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.6%

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13. West Virginia

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 36,236

Total essential businesses – 28,878

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.6%

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12. Louisiana

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 106,331

Total essential businesses – 84,765

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.7%

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11. Texas

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 592,060

Total essential businesses – 472,420

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.7%

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10. Washington

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 190,715

Total essential businesses – 152,196

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.8%

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9. Colorado

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 169,568

Total essential businesses – 135,352

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.8%

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8. Alabama

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 100,168

Total essential businesses – 79,981

Percent of businesses considered essential – 79.8%

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7. Arkansas

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 66,519

Total essential businesses – 53,175

Percent of businesses considered essential – 80%

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6. Kansas

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 74,672

Total essential businesses – 59,758

Percent of businesses considered essential – 80.3%

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5. Idaho

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 47,292

Total essential businesses – 37,971

Percent of businesses considered essential – 80.4%

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4. Mississippi

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 58,981

Total essential businesses – 47,403

Percent of businesses considered essential – 80.5%

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3. Oklahoma

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 93,431

Total essential businesses – 75,192

Percent of businesses considered essential – 80.5%

Oklahoma’s definition of essential industries includes construction and infrastructure, finance, restaurants and retail, among others. Religious services is the state’s most prominent essential offering, according to our analysis.

Oklahoma’s governor did not place the state under a mandatory stay-at-home order, instead putting a safer-at-home policy in place to require senior residents older than 65 or people with underlying medical conditions to remain home. Many citywide stay-at-home orders expired May 1 in some of the biggest areas in the state, including Oklahoma City. Nonessential businesses like malls, restaurants, and hair and nail salons are now open throughout the state.

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2. Virginia

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 201,593

Total essential businesses – 162,469

Percent of businesses considered essential – 80.6%

Virginia businesses and residents were originally expected to remain under a stay-at-home order from March 24 to June 10, but the first phase of reopening began May 15 in certain parts of the state. Some restaurants are now allowed to open outdoor seating to 50% capacity, while retail businesses and places of worship can also open at 50% capacity.

Like in Maryland, the restrictions on businesses vary by city and county. However, some Virginia residents have begun disregarding localized restrictions — such as the stay-at-home order in Northern Virginia — and crowding off-limits parks and waterfront areas.

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1. Maryland

Here are the states with the most essential businesses

Total businesses – 139,143

Total essential businesses – 113,410

Percent of businesses considered essential – 81.5%

Maryland’s stay-at-home order went into effect on March 30, limiting all nonessential activities statewide. Airports, grocery stores and hospitals were among the essential local businesses permitted to stay open.

The governor lifted the statewide order on May 15, though some cities and counties, including Baltimore, will stay under the order for a while longer. Nonessential businesses in those areas may remain closed or open at limited capacity while the restrictions are in place.

“This article originally appeared on LendingTree.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.”

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