ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation received 278 complaints against Central Florida businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, according to records obtained by News 6.
The complaints were made by citizens in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard, Volusia, Flagler, Lake, Sumter and Marion counties using the DBPR complaint portal between March 27 and May 22.
Records show complaints were made against a variety of business, including restaurants, retail stores, hair salons and rental properties.
Kissimmee businesses saw the most complaints with 45 registered with the state, while Orlando saw the second highest number with its businesses receiving 39 complaints.
One resident in Melbourne complained a restaurant "is still open when they should be closed. They could be infecting many people."
In Clermont, a person noticed patrons were "playing pool and drinking. They are not social distancing."
"We're always trying to be clean and everything because that’s one of the most important things in barbering -- being clean," said Noel Guadalupe with RG Barbershop in Orlando.
RG also saw a single complaint during the coronavirus shutdown claiming it was open when it should have been closed.
"They did say that we can only open if we have less than six barbers and no more than 10 people inside there, and that’s what we’ve been doing," he said.
The DBPR said they have issued no citations, and they are using the complaints to educate the business owners about safety protocols and CDC guidelines.
Guadalupe said RG has been open for two years, and it prides itself on following the rules and keeping their shop clean.
They’ve added masks and hand sanitizer at the front door, and they are limiting the number of people inside, as advised by the DBPR.
"We try to keep it perfect for the people," Guadalupe said. "That’s why everybody likes the shop. We're always clean, we always have good service, we keep everyone happy, we try to do the best for the clients."
With the recent rise in coronavirus numbers, many government leaders are asking residents to point out when businesses can do better following the CDC guidelines.
The website to file a complaint can be found here.