We begin a new week where we ended the last week, no news on when retail sales can begin in Michigan. We have had Senator Daley and Victory working on letters to the Governor and MDARD director on our behalf, while Representatives Alexander and VanSingel have both sent letters to the Governor asking for her to reconsider garden centers as essential. Now is the time to contact your Senator or Representative and ask them to advocate for the greenhouse industry in a letter or email to the Governor and MDARD director. If you have not contacted MDARD on this, you still can at MDARDcovid-19@mi.gov . Tell the department that garden centers should be essential so people can be growing their own food and this could be the largest number of people in history having a garden and being self-sufficient.

Make sure you sign up for the Paycheck Protection Program as soon as you can. Reach out to your lender to see if they are participating and get your application in. This is an opportunity to receive a forgivable loan for 250% of your average monthly payroll, utilities, rent or payment, and employee benefit packages, if you keep your people employed. For more information go to sbam.org and click on Paycheck Protection Plan details for an in-depth summary of this program or go to mipaycheckprotection.com for answers about the program – there is even a calculator to help put together everything that is eligible for this loan.

I have sent out the potential loss information I have received from people around the state to Senator Stabenow’s staff for the $9.5 billion fund for specialty crop losses. This is still in the development stage and we want to make sure that greenhouses are considered for repayment of the losses that could occur during this crisis. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to help support our industry.

Stay well, wash your hands, and don’t touch your face.

Cindy Ray
Author: Cindy Ray

Cindy has years of experience in association management and administrative support.