COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: Advocacy Update
MNLA Members,
 
This update comes to you on April 8, 2020, the day the Governor is expected to announce next steps as the current Stay-at-Home Order approaches expiration. We anticipate but cannot guarantee that the Governor will extend the Stay-at-Home Order, and will amend the extended Order to enable our industry to get to work.

Even though we’ve spoken directly with the Governor himself, the final decision whether to enable our industry to resume field work and retail sales - and in what form - lies with Governor Walz.

ADVOCACY UPDATE
The staff, leadership and members of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association have been devoted to the COVID-19 situation since before the Governor indicated he would implement a Stay-at-Home Order (20-20). Our efforts have included many of the “tools” in our advocacy toolbox using proven means and methods to advocate including calm, reasoned and deliberate approaches to this event.  

Our Government Affairs mechanism has been devoted to helping the Governor understand that our industry is essential and can operate safely. Staff, leadership, and volunteers have been:
  • Informing government of the extent of the Green Industry, its short season and the vital importance of the 2nd quarter of the year for financial survival
  • Building new, and working with, existing coalition partners
  • Engaging members and non-members in constructive action
  • Working with the national associations to adjust national guidance that the Governors rely on (successfully completed March 28th)
  • Giving members and non-members an outlet to discuss and support one another at https://www.facebook.com/groups/151552599432725/
  • Facilitating the submittal of independently conducted petitions to the Governor
  • Organizing and posting information on:
  • MNLA efforts https://www.mnla.biz/page/coronavirus
  • Requested actions by members/non-members (e.g. help with petitions)
  • Financial support information
  • Safety protocols

TAKING ACTION
I’m pleased to report that members - in record numbers - have used the “Take Action” link to appeal to their legislators and the Governor on behalf of the Green Industry and their specific business circumstances! Hundreds of letters have been sent to legislators and the governor through this online portal.  

I encourage anyone interested to act to use the Take Action link above - yes, even today , the day we hope the Governor will amend the Stay-at-Home order to enable our industry to get to work. If you choose to write, please remember to indicate that you and your business can work safely!

WORKING SAFELY – WEBINAR TODAY 12:30PM CENTRAL
Should Governor Walz choose to enable our industry to get back to work, it will be IMPERATIVE that we as an industry and as individuals adjust our practices to demonstrate safety first. Going forward, new and evolving safety measures will be required to protect ourselves, employees, clients and the public.  

Remember, real people are getting sick and some are dying of COVID-19 or its effect on them. PLEASE TAKE SERIOUSLY AND IMPLEMENT NEW SAFETY PROTOCOLS. WE WILL BE WATCHED AND REPORTED-ON.

Today April 8, 2020, at 12:30pm, a free webinar sponsored by The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP – formerly known as PLANET) will be conducted on this topic.  Sign up here ...

AmericanHort is also preparing a webinar to be conducted April 13, 2002 intended for retail sales and garden centers and how to manage non-contact sales. You can sign-up here ...

A reminder that MNLA continues to refine the posting of safety information online.

THE GOVERNOR’S ADDRESS TODAY
Please join me in listening to the Governor’s address today at approximately 2:00pm. You can listen live on WCCO radio 830, on television and via several internet outlets.

You have all done great work to help our government understand the importance of our industry! Let’s hope for good news on the health front and good news for our industry to return to work -- safely!

In the event the Governor does not specifically name industries being adjusted, here is a link to check the official list of critical/essential worker categories/industries that is updated and posted periodically.

More to come…

Tim Malooly, Water in Motion
MNLA President
To join a conversation online with your Green Industry colleagues, request to join MNLA's "COVID-19 Conversations" Facebook group.