April 3, 2020

Good evening MNLGA Members:

This e-mail is distributed to key contacts; please feel free to share with others in your office. A few new things for you this evening:

Welcome to the end of another week. I know you’ve all been working hard to maintain your businesses, keep the supply chain going, serve your customers, and digest and apply for COVID-19 business and employment relief programs that are now out.  I hope the MNLGA communications and COVID-19 resources page on or website have been helpful. I’ve learned a lot about these programs and resources in the past few days. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me. I don’t hold myself out as an expert, but I will do my best to offer guidance.

Because our resources page was getting a bit cluttered with information, today, Chelsea reorganized it. I hope you find it easier to navigate now, although not all links will now be on the same page. Please check the site regularly; we are posting new content every day. There are also a lot of webinars offered to help navigate a lot of the state and federal programs. 

I also know that there are a lot of uncertainties with the work force; some businesses find they are in a position of excess employees and some with too few. The MNLGA’ new website does have a job board. Members may post jobs for free. Its pretty easy to use, if you are looking for a place to post a job needed. You would need to log into your account and access the Job Board page to make the posting.  www.mnlga.or g

The Governor did not reveal any new restrictions at his press conference today that have direct impact on the essentiality of our industry businesses. I believe it is OK to carry on with your business with the very strict mandate that every opportunity to eliminate human contact be taken. We are asked to assess if the work being done is essential to the public's health and safety, as well. Delivery is the preferred method to transfer goods. Foot traffic and curbside pick up at garden centers is requested to be removed as options, by the Governor’s office.  Many of you have shared what you are doing at your business to comply with the restrictions. I’ll continue to share your stories with the membership, anonymously of course, as you share them with me.

One member who has closed to foot traffic and curbside pickup reports an uptick in irritated consumers who are inpatient with the extra time it takes to have a delivery made. Unfortunately, I guess we will all have to learn to manage the inconveniences of this pandemic. We are fortunate that demand for our products continues, albeit at diminished levels. Other states are not faring as well right now.

I see conflicting reports of whether or not we all should be wearing masks while during the times we are out. Right now, there is no mandate to wear one that I am aware of except in specific cases, obviously health care, and to employees in nursing homes, etc.

I’m sure you are aware that basically all tax filing deadlines have been moved to later in the year, including personal taxes and Form 1s (Personal Property Tax), both of which had been originally due by April 15 th .

Dave Thompson shared with me Jack Radebaugh passed away on March 29 th . The Radebaugh family and their various businesses have worked in MD horticulture for generations. Our prayers and condolences go out to the extended Radebaugh family.   Here is a link to his obituary ; services will be private.

I am sorry to end today’s update on such a sad note. Its been a heck of a week. I’m thinking of you all and hoping and praying you stay well and weather this storm. Let’s keep supporting each other and we will get through this.

Take care and have a good weekend.

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 www.mnlga.org , 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 @mnlga.org .

Vanessa A. Finney
Executive Director, MNLGA