Hillsborough policy group: Non-essential businesses must close during pandemic

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Gov. DeSantis’ stay-at-home order could be the final straw for many businesses already hurting during the coronavirus crisis.

Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group discussed and clarified the order during an emergency policy meeting Monday.

Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Les Miller showed concern.

“We have to adhere to the governor’s executive order, no doubt about that,” Miller said. “We can’t go against his order but it appears we’re about to make some other people unemployed also, and that’s really gonna hurt our county more. But we must do what the governor’s order says, and that is non-essential businesses must close their actual buildings,” he said.

Businesses like barber shops, nail salons and spas would fall under this order.

The county attorney, Christine Beck, clarified the order, which came down last week.

“First and foremost, it states that if my business is not an essential service, I must close the physical location to customers,” Beck said. “And the answer that’s provided is yes,” she said, stating the order.

A glimmer of good news, though. If business owners can operate remotely or from their home, they are permitted to go on. The order encourages delivery services, if applicable, Beck said.

Bars were closed early on during the crisis. Restaurants statewide are allowed to operate in take-out and delivery capacity only.

The governor’s order runs until the end of the month and it could be extended if he decides it’s necessary.

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