March 31, 2020

Dear MNLGA Members:

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

New today: (I'm including the final communication from yesterday, below as we had quite a few new members join yesterday who might have missed this info)

A revised employee authorization to travel letter template . This one comes with guidance for the UMD Ag Law Initiative that the Governor's office has some specific additional information that that the letter should include, like employee address. Please see this link .

Please let me know what's going on in your world; I will never share my source of business info, unless you authorize it. It helps me to have an understanding of the issues you face, if you share them with me. email me at

CARES Act : Congress has passed into law, the CARES Act. Programs and initiatives are listed in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security for you. The new law provides direct assistance to companies like yours during the COVID-19 economic crisis. 

Resource Guides: (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed by Congress intended to assist business owners through various programs and initiatives) 

Keep checking the MNLGA website for many COVID-19 resources; Chelsea updates often.

Info shared yesterday afternoon (March 30):

Following up on my e-blast from earlier this morning. Below is information received from MDA, in italics. As of right now, there has been no change in the definition of what are essential businesses or not. As of last week, the spectrum of Green Industry businesses in Maryland were deemed essential. 

Reached out to the governor's office for some guidance. Moving into this new phase of action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, all businesses should make an honest determination if their operation is essential to public health and safety. Businesses that are not directly linked to public health and safety should scale back their operations, if they have not done so already. Specifically, most retail businesses should immediately move to eliminate foot traffic, end curbside pick-up options and move to delivery only. 

P lease execute common sense and strict COVID-19 precautions in whatever endeavors you take. A couple of members have asked me if there is guidance on how many workers can be in the cab of a truck. No, there is no specific guidance on this other than the 6-foot rule. This is not the time to send out employees shoulder-to-shoulder in a truck. Homeowners will report infractions of social distance and now there will be fines for violations in Maryland. If you have workers out and about, they must take the strictest of COVID-19 precautions, for everyone's sake.

Essential business travel authorization letter linked here i s a template of a letter to give to employees who are engaged in essential work. They can hold on to this letter and use it as authority that the business in which they are engaged is considered essential by Governor Hogan. The Governor did indicate that enforcement of staying home will take place. Your essential employees should keep a copy of this letter, or similar one drafted by you, in his/her vehicle.

Link to guidance on interstate travel , to and from MD and NY. There is quarantine advice within; please read. (Non-essential travel outside of Maryland is prohibited as of this morning's press conference.)

Summary of Governor Hogan’s press conference this morning:

Keep checking the MNLGA website for many COVID-19 resources; Chelsea updates often.

Also, I'm reiterating that last week the MNLGA board paused all membership dues until April 1 of next year. As well, non-members are invited to join with a complimentary membership through the end of 2020. The purpose of this is to enable us to get information out to as many businesses as possible, as efficiently as possible. Pass the word to your non-member colleagues. Prospective members go to , click the "join here" button and select membership type 2020-Comp. Easy to do!

Blood banks across the area are in need. If you are able to give blood, please consider visiting the Red Cross. I think it would be wise to make an appointment rather than arrive unexpectedly.  Visit Greater Chesapeake Region Red Cross to find a donation center near you.

Please keep me informed of what is going on with your business. If I know what is going on, I may be a better resource to you and to other members as we navigate together this uncharted territory. Feel free to email me at Vanessa .

Vanessa A. Finney
Executive Director, MNLGA