Wednesday morning, The Pinellas County Commission, in an emergency meeting,
voted unanimously to place further restrictions on residents and businesses
during this current state of emergency. The order will go into effect at noon
on Thursday, March 26th.
While the order does direct residents to stay at home except for essential activities, it does allow non-essential businesses to operate provided they comply with CDC guidelines, a provision St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman urged the Commission to remove.
The most effected businesses will be retail shops that do not limit the number of customers in their store.
Additionally places of public assembly, including public playgrounds, museums, social clubs, arcades, theaters, bowling alleys, and other private recreation facilities will be closed.
All public and private gatherings not meeting CDC guidelines occurring outside of the family unit, single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes permitted in the Resolution.
Parks will remain open for casual recreation (walking, running, biking) but group gatherings will not be allowed.
The resolution has the full force of the law under the emergency powers afforded to the County and violation can be punished with up to 60 days in jail or a $500 fine.
In a press conference this afternoon, Mayor Kriseman announced “the county’s actions will apply to St. Pete, for now.” He explained that his team would be monitoring local businesses over the next several days to gauge compliance. He urged our local community to be good actors during this time and prove that our shops and restaurants and other businesses can adhere to the CDC guidelines. Should the Mayor and his staff feel that non-essential St. Pete. Pete Businesses are not adhering to the CDC guidelines, he reserves the right to act further.
This is where our members and all businesses need to SHINE! Please, self police your business and adhere to CDC guidelines.
Close or limit customer access to your storefront. Help customers maintain 6-feet of separation. Ensure your employees and customers are aware that non-compliance may lead to your business being shut down. In order for our community to stay safe, and keep our local businesses functioning, we need to work together.
Here is a link to the full Pinellas County resolution: http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/PDF/covid19/res20-20.pdf
Turning to recovery, Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin announced a plan to create a “Fighting Chance” fund for local businesses who have been adversely affected by the virus. While the details are being worked out, the Deputy Mayor stated the distributions from the fund would be grants, not loans.
If you have any specific concerns about the effect this order may have on your business, please reach out to Matt Lettelleir at firstname.lastname@example.org and put PINELLAS ORDER- (business name) in the subject line