NewsHillsborough County


Business owners say workers are burdened and met with hostility while trying to enforce mask orders

Posted at 7:04 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 19:04:26-04

BRANDON, Fla. -- For decades, Brandon Crossroads Bowl has been a place where families and leagues have come to enjoy bowling.

Now, county orders say everyone inside must wear masks.

Owner Jeff Boje says his workers have been met with hostility while telling some customers that they have to wear a mask or leave.

"The bartender asked him to put on a face mask, a simple request, but I’m guessing that he was angry at whatever in life, and he just broke the pool stick over his knee and tossed it on the bar," said Boje.

RELATED: Where are masks mandatory to wear in the Tampa Bay area?

The Hillsborough County's Emergency Policy Group mask ordinance puts pressure on workers to make sure customers wear masks, or else business owners could be fined or even jailed. Walter Hill owner of the Press Box Sports Emporium and Eatery in Tampa says restaurants are facing the same challenges.

"Our customers can’t get in trouble, but I can get in trouble if people come in and out of here without masks on and they can fine the business owner for it. So basically, making us business owners the police officers," said Hill.

Business owners say the people who refuse to wear masks should be the ones fined, not the businesses that are doing their best to follow the rules.

"If they’re going to have a penalty, put it on the person who is breaking the law, not the person who is not breaking the law and doing their best," said Boje.

On Monday the Hillsborough County EPG said they will be drafting language in the mask policy to help better protect business owners and they will vote on the changes next Monday, July 6th.