Dunedin business owners react to DeSantis’ decision to suspend all local COVID-19 emergency orders

Pinellas County

DUNEDIN, Fla. (WFLA) – Local business owners are reacting to Governor Ron Desantis’s announcement to suspend all local COVID-19 emergency orders across the state.

Some believe having a mask policy in place after July 1 may be beneficial to customers as well as employees.

Linda Painter, co-owner of Lafayette and Rushford in Dunedin.

Linda Painter and her son Grant are both business owners in Dunedin. Linda co-owns Lafayette and Rushford, a trendy boutique in downtown Dunedin. Grant and his wife own the Dunedin Woodwright Brewing Company a few blocks away.

Linda says what concerns her is there are so many out-of-town tourists visiting Dunedin, that you never know what they have been exposed to.

“That means there’s exposure to a lot more than what’s in our neighborhood,” said Linda. “(Or) what the status of immunizations in their area.”

Grant Painter, owner of Dunedin Woodwright Brewing Company.

Grant shares some of the same concerns, and says he and his employees will meet to discuss the best course of action.

“We make decisions like this as far as the well-being of us and our staff and our customers. We make those decisions collectively with our staff and we’ve just learned of this, this mandate from the governor,” said Grant. “So we’ve not had a chance to pull our crew together.”

Individual business owners may elect to suggest or require employees and customers to wear masks, just as they require them to wear shirts and shoes. Or they may elect not to. The difference is customers who elect not to wear masks will not be violating any city or county ordinance, they would be violating a merchant’s rules if masks are required.

Linda Painter says she’s waiting until closer to July 1 to make a decision on the matter.

“We have clients who come in and say this is their happy place,” said Linda Painter. “They like to be here and for the most part, they don’t have a problem protecting others.”

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