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Small business owner in St. Lucie County wonders what's next after bar, nightclub shutdown

Posted at 6:04 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 18:09:18-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — While there are still no confirmed cases of the coronavirus on the Treasure Coast, the governor’s decision to close bars and nightclubs impacts many businesses in the area.

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On a perfect beach day, it would hard to dampen Jackie Thomas’ enthusiasm.

“It’s my birthday. Happy St. Patrick’s Day everybody!” Thomas sings.

Thomas runs Jackie's Beach Bar, a little stand up businesses just off the sand in Fort Pierce that she opened only 10 days ago.

“I was working [selling] health and life insurance. I talked to management, and they gave me the opportunity to run this as your own bar, and I’ve been slammed every day," said Thomas.

She was proud of the surfboard sign and had heard about the new social distancing norms and the limiting of crowds.

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“I have no walls. Cart everything in, cart everything out. We’re happy, healthy.. clean. I have Clorox, we sanitize everything," said Thomas.

But after NewsChannel 5 left her Tuesday morning, word from the state that all bars and restaurants would be closing starting Tuesday night. So, WPTV went back to get a reaction.

“We’ll see what happens. I pray to God, believe it God. It should be OK, hopefully this will pass." "I’m staying open until they make me stop.”

Thomas says she's been told to close and is frustrated other places nearby that serve alcohol may not be closing since they are also restaurants that serve take-out. She does breakfast sandwiches to go so she wonders if she falls in that category but right now, isn't sure.