Business

Signs for Businesses to Post

To help businesses inform customers about the Pinellas County Face Covering Ordinance, several printable PDF files are available.


Pinellas CARES Small Business Grants

NEW – Pinellas CARES Local Business Grants:

Pinellas CARES has helped more than 3,200 businesses with emergency grants since May, and more help is now available. 

The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners has approved expanded grant funding for Pinellas-based businesses most affected by the pandemic. In general, this includes businesses that were required to shut down or whose customers were required to shut down or stop doing business.  For more information and the portal to apply, visit to the Pinellas CARES Local Business page.

Program Stats as of Sept. 2, 2020
Since opening applications on May 4:

  • 5,223 completed applications have been received.
  • 3,249 checks have been issued.
  • $16.245 million has been received by eligible businesses with approved applications.

Additional Resources for Businesses

For the latest updates about resources for Pinellas County businesses, visit the Pinellas County Economic Development website. Florida businesses can also visit http://floridadisaster.biz for more information.

Business Re-opening Status

Under the Governor’s orders the only businesses that cannot operate are nightclubs that derive more than 50 percent gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Bars and other vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages

Effective September 14, 2020, the state has allowed bars to reopen at 50 percent of capacity, for seated service only.

Ordinance 20-14, passed by the Board of County Commissioners in June, has specific requirements for restaurants and bars that continue to be in effect in conjunction with the state’s limitations. 

• Employees must wear a face covering whether directly or indirectly preparing food or drinks, whether having customer contact or not, and whether indoors or outdoors. 
• Patrons must wear a face covering except when seated and consuming food or a drink and distanced six feet from other parties 
• Standing at a bar is prohibited. The state’s reopening plan and the County ordinance require that patrons be seated to be served drinks for on-site consumption.
• Tables/bar stools must be spaced so that individuals and their companion(s) are separated six feet from others. Tables are limited to 10 guests. 
• Standing areas are not allowed. Patrons waiting to be seated must remain distanced in groups of no more than 10 people.
• Bars and restaurants must establish rules that encourage social distancing, hand-washing and other protective measures based on CDC guidance.

 The ordinance will remain in effect until the Board of County Commissioners repeals it or allows the county’s State of Local Emergency declaration to expire.

Vacation rentals

Vacation rentals may take reservations and operate with restrictions.    Property owners and managers will receive comprehensive guidelines outlining safety and sanitation measures that must be followed to reopen. Reservations from areas identified by Gov. DeSantis as high risk must be for periods longer than the required quarantine period. Guests must be advised to practice CDC-recommended social distancing, and public seating must be situated, and common areas marked, to facilitate separation.

There are numerous other requirements listed under the categories Guest Safety/Health, Employee Safety/Hygiene, Property Cleanliness, Pools & Beaches and more.

Restaurants

Restaurants and food establishments may reopen dining areas with a maximum patron occupancy of 50 percent of the stated building capacity (as allowed by local ordinances). Outdoor seating is allowed without capacity percentage limitations, and, as of 12:01 a.m. on June 5, 2020, bar areas may be open with seated service.

Restaurants may continue to operate for on-premise consumption of food and beverages at tables pursuant to the restrictions in Executive Order 20-139, providing for appropriate social distancing and operating at 50 percent of their indoor capacity, so long as these vendors derive 50 percent or less of their gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.

Read the latest guidelines for restaurants

Barbershops & Cosmetology Salons

The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners is now under Governor DeSantis’ newly-issued Resolution 20-120 (PDF) allowing barbershops, cosmetology salons, and specialty cosmetology salons to reopen, with modifications for increased public safety. 

The State is allowing these establishments to reopen May 11 “provided they adopt social distancing and precautionary measures” that includes the following mandatory guidance (PDF):  

  • Scheduling by appointment only, 
  • No group appointments,  
  • Allowing 15 minutes between customers to allow for proper disinfecting practices, and  
  • A requirement that all employees wear masks while providing personal services.  

The governor’s office also provided answers to frequently asked questions (PDF)

Personal Services

Personal services, including but not limited to tattooing, body piercing,
acupuncture, tanning and massage, may operate with appropriate safety
guidelines as outlined by the Department of Health.

Gyms/fitness centers

Dance studios, yoga, and other fitness classes or similar activities may operate at full capacity. All businesses must adhere to social distancing requirements.

Retail Sales

Retail sales businesses may operate at 50 percent of their authorized capacity under the Phase 1 reopening. All businesses must adhere to social distancing requirements.

Professional Sports

Large spectator sporting events up to 25 percent of capacity may resume. Social distancing requirements must be utilized.

Pari-mutuel facilities, dog and horse racing

Pari-mutuel facilities, such as dog or horse racing facilities, may seek to operate with a written request from the County Mayor or if no mayor the County Administrator to the Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and the approval of the DBPR Secretary.

Recreation and Large Venues

Entertainment businesses, including but not limited to movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, and arcades may operate at 50 percent of their building capacity, with appropriate social distancing between groups and appropriate sanitation.

Museums and Libraries 

Maximum patron occupancy at 50 percent of stated building capacity. Interactive functions/exhibits and child play areas must remain closed. Local governments may decide to keep museums and libraries closed.

See also the full list of state and local orders on media center web page.

Reporting Business Losses

Business can report economic losses related to COVID-19 online.

The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement economic relief programs for businesses can begin.