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Wide variety of 'essential businesses' still operating in Pinellas County

Posted at 4:54 PM, Apr 09, 2020

PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Celia Dubey can’t imagine not being able to ride her bicycle right now.

“I had a major problem with my bike and they are able to fix it within a day. So I’m extremely grateful,” she said.

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Chainwheel Drive in Palm Harbor is one of just a few businesses in their shopping plaza that is still open.

That’s because bike shops are listed by state officials as essential.

“There was a little bit of confusion with that. We saw the order from Governor DeSantis yesterday. Most folks are catching on to that,” said Chainwheel Drive manager Michael Weimar.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is publishing daily lists to clear up any confusion as to who can stay open.

The list includes obvious businesses like grocery stores, banks and pharmacies. But also those newly designated as essential like gun stores, realtors, animal shelters and bike shops.

“It’s essential that we are active and outside and enjoying the fresh air so I think it’s great that they are able to serve us in that capacity,” said Dubey.

“We are doing what we can to help those folks that need to get out there. Need to get to work. Or even need to get out of the house for an hour,” said Weimar.

While Chainwheel Drive is open, it’s not business as usual. They are keeping customers outside and disinfecting every bike.

“For as awful as this pandemic is, it’s nice to see people are rediscovering this wonderful community that we live in and maybe getting to experience it in a new way,” said Weimar.