Local businesses face tough choices following Gov. DeSantis call to suspend COVID orders

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis’ decision to invalidate local COVID-19 orders leaves the difficult choice of mask requirements in the hands of business owners.

In Volusia County, some small business owners worry any choice they make will alienate some customers.

READ: Demings on executive orders: “Our county attorneys are exploring our legal options”

The cities of Daytona Beach, Orange City, and DeLand all had mask mandates in place before the governor’s order.

In Ormond Beach, there was never a mask mandate in place, but bakery owner Jean Jenner says that hasn’t stopped him from requiring customers to wear one.

READ: DeSantis says local leaders had plenty of time to react to executive orders

“99.5 percent of the people are fine with it,” Jenner says. “Some people applaud the fact we require masks.”

The sign on the door is clear: anyone entering the French Bakery and pastry Shop in Ormond Beach has to wear a mask. Jenner says it’s a matter of choosing science over politics.

“As far as I know, the governor doesn’t have a background in medical experience. He’s a politician and we follow medical and science advice here,” Jenner says.

The City of Daytona Beach required masks indoors, but officials there say the governor’s order suspended that requirement.

Gene Lytwyn, who owns The Fishin’ Hole, says she’s leaning towards making masks voluntary, rather than asking people to wear one with the mandate lifted.

READ: Scott on vaccine requirements: “The private sector gets to make a decision”

“We’re just not looking for confrontations,” Lytwyn says. “When it all started, there was a lot of confrontations. We want what’s best for our employees and our customers.”