Today the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Council sent a letter to Governor Whitmer outlining how Michigan retail greenhouses and garden centers would keep their employees and customers safe in these difficult times. The letter showed that retail greenhouses and garden centers can and are ready to operate safely, protecting customers from COVID-19. It goes on to state that we are encouraged by your commitment to allowing jobsites to safely re-open and your hope to begin the process by May 1st. Michigan greenhouses and garden centers are ready to be a part of that first phase and having a May 1st target date in mind would help employers begin to accelerate training for new safety processes in locations across the state.
It is our responsibility to operate in a safe way, and garden centers can. Michigan garden centers can and are ready to do what our neighbors in Ohio are already doing as they operate during this time. We have taken and are taking many important and carefully targeted steps to ensure our operations are safe, including changes in the way we do business to:
- Offer online shopping, call ahead orders, curbside pickup or delivery as available
- Limit the number of customers near the cash registers and in the store at any given time. Many retailers are marking the floor in check-out lines to encourage social distancing.
- Sanitize all carts, baskets, door handles throughout the day, as well as credit card pads
- Require staff members to sanitize regularly
- Have hand sanitizer available for consumers and staff at the checkout
- Require social distancing between staff and customers in the store, grounds and greenhouses. Greenhouses are so large, social distancing is not hard and the person per square foot guidelines are easily met.
- We also respectfully ask any individual- whether a customer or an employee – exhibiting even minor symptoms to stay home.
We then go on to show examples of Michigan garden centers and greenhouses leading the way in working safe, even during the current downtime and give several examples of what centers have already put in place getting ready to open. You can read the entire letter Letter to Governor Whitmer – Work Safe Plan_FINAL. We have sent out a MGGC Release_WorkSafePlansReady_4.20.2020 and already have several press inquiries for media. If you get contacted, be ready to talk about how you are ready to open safely and discuss the steps your business is taking to keep people safe.
Now is the time to make sure your business is ready for business, with all of the safety precautions in place. Everyone needs to have a safety plan ready to implement it when you open. The Governor has signaled that she is willing to look at re-opening our economy and we need to lead during the first phase, so that we can set an example for all.
Stay Safe and healthy,