From the Executive Director…

During this time of uncertainty, I hope everyone is well both physically and mentally. I have been working from home after being banished from the office until this COVID-19 issue is done and things return to normal. Cindy and I continue to keep everyone up to speed on developing items and events. Watch your email for (almost) daily updates from MGGC.

MDARD has sent me the following on garden centers:
“No person or entity shall operate a business or conduct operations except to the extent that its workers are necessary to sustain and protect life, regardless of whether the business or operation is open to the public.”  The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has deemed nurseries and greenhouses to be essential to the point of growing plants, however the sale of plants to public is not allowed. If selling wholesale, this is permissible.

I have asked for them to reconsider with a letter to the Director (available  at showing we would be one of the few states who don’t list garden centers as essential, but they have not changed their stance. I will keep in touch with the department to see if they will reconsider.

I talked to Senator Stabenow’s staff on Friday about producer assistance for specialty crops in the CARES bill that had just been passed. They are trying to identify and quantify projected losses and impacts to determine how to make $9.5 Billion available for COVID-19 relief for producers. We will try to put some numbers together for them, if you have any to share, please email me at

This week there are several opportunities to learn what assistance is available to help your business with the COVID-19 crisis. On Tuesday there is a webinar with a deep dive on the CARES Act and what it means to you in these troubling times. If you had tried to sign up and it said it was full, try again as they have been able to open it to 500 more participants. Also, every day at 3 pm SBAM has a live stream discussion on daily changes and questions posed by members on Facebook and Zoom. Check out their website for more information and COVID-19 resources at

We are all trying to make sense of everything going on in the country and in our state in these times of turmoil, as well as attempting to keep our businesses afloat and our families and employees safe and secure. We will continue to bring you updates as we receive them to keep you informed in real time, so you can make sound decisions about your business and health.

Goeff Hansen | 231-301-4888

Cindy Ray
Author: Cindy Ray

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