The Governor had a press conference at 3pm today that extends the stay at home order and outlined new restrictions on the greenhouse / garden center industry. The following is an excerpt from Executive Order 2020- 42:
- Travel for vacations or for any other nonessential purpose is now prohibited
- Large stores must limit the number of people in the store to four customers for every 1,000 sq. ft
- Large stores must close areas dedicated to carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries or paint.
We partnered with Michigan Farm Bureau for a member action alert yesterday which as of 9 am this morning had sent 9,411 messages to the Governor’s office with our message of garden centers are essential. We have had several members of the legislature send letters to the Governor’s office supporting our cause and the Senate workgroup on which professions that can restart safely certainly understand the business. We need to keep advocating for the opportunity to sell in some manner whether it is curbside or delivery.
Legislative leadership is trying to work with the administration to find ways to get some businesses open safely. Contact your legislators and ask them to write a letter or call the Governors office asking her to reconsider some of her restrictions and not extend her ban on plant sales any further than April 30.
Hopefully the number of COVID-19 cases begins to start going down and we can start to get back to some sort of normal.
We had a conference call with MDARD late Thursday afternoon to discuss the latest restrictions imposed by the Governor. Garden centers were the hot topic as several people wanted the department to help educate the Governor on how garden centers should be essential. I brought up the fact that Michigan is one of two in the nation to shut down plant sales, why should we be so far behind? There was no answer given and the director only gave the Governor’s talking points and did not offer to intervene in any way. So disappointing! We are getting no support at all from MDARD and they should be helping to lead this effort. Please send your comments to them at MDARD-COVID19@Michigan.gov.