April 22, 2020

Dear MNLGA Members:

This e-mail is distributed to key contacts; please feel free to share with others in your office.

Attention new members: I send new updates every day and really do not repeat a lot of the same information. Chelsea has added to the MNLGA’s COVID-19 resources page the COVID-19 based member alerts since we began issuing them on March 16 th . Please review them if you are hunting for older information.

New Information Today :

Occassionally I peruse the website of Miles & Stockbridge, a Baltimore-based legal firm. Their site posts all kinds of information accessible to anyone looking. Today I see this webinar, to be held tomorrow, entitled Business Unusual: Planning for the Return of your Workforce Post-COVI-2019. Summary: Join firm principals Stephanie Baron, Suzzanne Decker, Kirsten Eriksson, Kathie Pontone and Marc Sloane as they discuss the myriad of employment topics that should be top-of-mind for everyone going forward, from health screening and related privacy issues, COVID discrimination claims, and OSHA reporting obligations to new frontiers regarding PPEs and social distancing, as well as other potential and ongoing employee concerns related to the pandemic and its economic repercussions. Complimentary registration

At the Governor's press conference today, he announced that on Friday he will unveil his detailed "Maryland Strong Recovery Plan." Unfortunately, Maryland does not appear to have hit the peak of the curve yet.

Yesterday, the Senate passed additional stimulus relief for PPP. Hopefully the House will quickly follow suit.

This news, shared by AmericanHort (thank you, Craig Regelbrugge!):
  • Topping the latest on the COVID-19 response, the Trump Administration announced an initial $19 billion in agricultural sector relief. The formal announcement came in an unusual 9:00 pm press conference by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. The outlined relief plan includes $16 billion in direct assistance to producers, and $3 billion in direct government purchases of meat, dairy products, and other foods. The direct relief mostly targets the livestock and produce sectors, but includes a targeted $500 million for “other crops.” However, a “per individual or entity” payment limit of $250,000 may apply. Details will be fleshed out in forthcoming rules. AmericanHort recently spearheaded a letter signed by 105 organizations urging Secretary Perdue to include nursery and floriculture crop growers in the relief package describing the severe horticulture market chain impacts resulting from COVID-19.
  • On April 17, the Department of Homeland Security released its version 3.0 guidance on critical infrastructure and essential workers. In a positive refinement for horticulture, the Food and Agriculture Sector description was refined to explicitly include: Workers supporting the growth and distribution of plants and associated products for home gardens. While the guidance is advisory only, and decision authority is delegated to the states, most states adhere closely to the federal guidance.

Remember to utilize the COVID-19 resources page on the MNLGA website . It includes resources to help connect with consumers, explanations and access to state and federal recovery, employment, and relief efforts, and more.

Please keep me in the loop and let me know how the MNLGA can help you.

Vanessa A. Finney
Executive Director, MNLGA