April 24, 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 :

We've made it to the end of another week. For the most part, I continue to hear optimism from our members - both concerning current business and future prospects. There are still woes, of course. I am hopeful as states begin to "re-open" that out-of-state markets and commerce will flow more readily. PA is set to open construction next week and my peer in PA thinks that may be a good sign that garden centers there may re-open more fully at that time.

I want to thank all the landscapers who are overtly practicing COVID-19 precautions. Walking my dog daily through my neighborhood I easily can see five or more companies working and the number of workers using face masks has increased dramatically. Technically, sure, they may not need the masks as they are outside, but the value in having clients and neighbors seeing the precautionary measures taken speaks volumes for the care and level of professionalism in the industry.

Yesterday, I attended a webinar the topic of which covered human resources issues in the time of COVID-19 with guidance on how to make sure your business reduces its liability against employee suits - i.e. discrimination, violation of HIPPA, attaining employee certification for "fitness for duty," hiring, furloughing, etc. Here is a link to a FAQ published by the EEOC t  hat covers these issues and more.

On Monday the MNLGA will e-mail a survey to all key contacts of member businesses. This survey is attempt to assess the impact COVID-19 is having on your business. The survey is anonymous unless you choose to supply your name. There is also opportunity to share your comments regarding challenges you've faced and how you've managed them, as well as to request further assistance from MNLGA. The survey should take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete.

In his press conference today, the Governor outlined his four-step plan for recovery and "re-opening" of the state. He did not define specific dates for each step. This link is a s ummary of the press conference, from the Baltimore Sun .

I wish you all a good weekend. Take care and stay safe!

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