Essential items helping some Tampa Bay businesses stay open during coronavirus crisis


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – At Villa Rosa Distinctive Linens, owner Maruchi Azorin is still open thanks to an array of soaps and disinfectants that have been sold at the store for years.

“People are coming in to get essential products, like cleaning detergents for their homes, for their linens, for their pillows, for their towels,” she said.

The business is considered an essential one because of the sale of those items.

Otherwise, Azorin says she would likely need to close due to Gov. Ron Desantis’ stay-at-home order. The order prohibits certain businesses from staying open during the coronavirus crisis.

“The way I look at it, is a positive way,” she said.

Essential businesses like grocery stores, hardware stores and pharmacies are allowed to stay open. But non-essential businesses like spas, salons and shoe repair shops must close, leaders explained.

8 On Your Side spoke to the president and CEO of Tampa Downtown Partnership, an organization that focuses on the success of businesses in the downtown core.

“Of course we’re seeing people struggle. They’re starting to communicate that. We’re starting to do a survey now to see what the businesses downtown need,” Lynda Remund said over FaceTime.

She said owners have already reached out.

Meantime, back at Villa Rosa, the owner is hopeful a new phase is coming for businesses in the Tampa Bay area and beyond.

“Sure would love to get back to whatever new normal we’re all going to be involved in. Sooner rather than later,” Azorin said.


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