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March 26, 2020: Breaking News from Governor Whitmer's Press Conference Today

MNLA Members,
 
In today’s press conference, Governor Whitmer clearly stated that landscape services are not included as a business necessary to sustain or protect life and ordered us to stop working and stay home. Based on this statement, if you are not directly exempted in Executive Order No. 2020-21 as a “business necessary to sustain or protect life”, we are recommending that you cease working until this Executive Order expires on April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. We are hearing that enforcement actions are planned and in some areas are already taking place.
 
Please know that we are not giving up and are continuing to fight for all of you. This is far from over and with renewed vigor we are doubling our efforts to communicate the importance of our great, green industry and to fight the inequity of this situation. The entire MNLA Team continues to work for you and is available to help you navigate through this and to stay in compliance. Please direct your questions or concerns to Amy at amy@mnla.org. Additional information you should know:
 
1. You can continue to conduct minimum basic operations of your business! In section 4. (b) of the Executive Order you can continue to conduct minimum basic operation of your business. This includes “…to maintain the value of inventory and equipment…ensure security, process transactions (including payroll and employee benefits), or facilitate the ability of other workers to work remotely.” You must determine what employees are necessary to conduct minimum basic operations and provide a letter to each employee. This should be done immediately. A template for this letter is attached HERE.
 
2. You can continue to work IF you are designated a supplier, distribution center, or service provider by a critical infrastructure business! In Section 9. (b) (1) – (5) of the Executive Order you can continue to work if you are designated a supplier, distribution center, or service provider by a critical infrastructure business. These designations have to be made in writing immediately. This language is found HERE.
 
3. You can continue to work IF you are designated agriculture --nursery, greenhouse, seedling, Christmas tree, seed firms, etc. Please note that per the EO, “Businesses and operations maintaining in-person activities must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers…” Please refer to the Executive Order for more details.If you have employees you will need to provide them with a letter that they will need to carry with them as they travel to-and-from work. Here are the elements that should be included in this letter:
a. The letter should be on your letterhead.
b. The letter should reference Executive Order 2020-21 and that your firm is included in the Food and Agriculture exemption.
c. State that your employee (name can be included but isn’t mandatory) is commuting to and from your workplace and include the address of the physical location they are working at.
 
4. Additional Resources:
a. Our national partner, AmericanHort, is taking the lead on all that is taking place on the federal level. This includes the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act that addresses paid leave for employees and takes effect on April 1, 2020 and additional resources to help your business stay in compliance. The AmericanHort Coronavirus Resource Page can be found at: www.americanhort.org/page/Coronavirus.
b. State resources—Guidance for Business, Executive Orders Directives, & FAQs, Unemployment, and Resources for small businesses can be found by going to: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/

March 23, 2020: Breaking News
Michigan’s Governor has issued a “Stay at Home” Executive Order that begins March 24 at 12:01 a.m. and continues through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

What does this mean for Michigan’s Green Industry?

Unfortunately, the order is vague as it pertains to the segments of our Green Industry. We have already reached out to the Governor’s Office and the MI Dept of Ag & Rural Development for clarification on whether or not landscape services and retail garden centers are included in critical infrastructure and to make sure that all activities of our nurseries, Christmas tree, and greenhouse operations are included under the “Food and Agriculture” exemption. As soon as we have clarification we’ll get it out to you.

Here are updates and information that we’ve received since our last Newsletter on March 19, 2020. A complete compilation of resources can be found on the Home page of our website at www.MNLA.org. Please note that changes are now occurring hourly and we recommend that you check these resources frequently to ensure you have the latest information.

MARCH 23, 2020

1.    3/23/2020 - On the State Level:
a.    New funding and tools available for MI’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19
b.    Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Lobby Closures
c.    MDOT Lifts Seasonal Weight Restrictions for Trucks Supporting COVID-19 Relief Efforts (And, Click Here for the link to the Executive Order)

d.    Stay Home, Stay Safe - Executive Order
e.    Stay Home, Stay Safe - Order Summary

2.    3/23/2020 - On the National Level:
a.    AmericanHort Special Report
b.    Families First Coronavirus Response Act—AmericanHort’s Key Provisions to Employee Emergency and Sick Leave
c.    National Ag Labor Concerns

3.    3/23/2020 - From the MNLA Office:
a.    Safety Resources and Workers’ Compensation Answers from MNLA’s MHI Fund
b.    Landscape Management Network (LMN) Offering Webinar/Workshop Series for Free
c.    Letter to Governor on Landscape Essential Services Letter, 3/20/2020

4.    Strategies that Your Business is Implementing: In this time of stress and uncertainty, we lean on each other for support and advice. We encourage you to share the strategies you are implementing and the concerns and/or questions you are hearing (from employees, suppliers, and/or customers). We’ll anonymously post these on the website as a resource. Please send this directly to Amy at Amy@MNLA.org.


March 19, 2020 - Coronavirus Information for Michigan's Green Industry: A Message from the MNLA Board of Directors

In this uncertain time, your MNLA Board would like to remind you that we are all fortunate to be in an industry that is still able to keep the doors open and, for the most part, continue working at a "social distance".  As we go through this, please remember that we are stronger together. Your Board and the entire MNLA staff are working for you daily.

Let's try to remain upbeat and look at opportunities to share the small victories with our customers and colleagues as a reminder that we will all get through this and be stronger for the journey.

To all of our valued Members - On behalf of the entire MNLA Team, we hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe during this difficult time. As the Coronavirus evolves we bring you these resources to help protect you, your business and your team. These can all be found below. Please note that changes are now occurring hourly and we recommend that you check these resources frequently to ensure that you have the latest information.

MARCH 19, 2020

1.    3/19/2020 - From the MNLA Office:
a.    MNLA Team Update
b.    MNLA Event and Education Postponements/Cancellations
c.    Legislative Actions - Letters to the Governor - Ag Worker Exemption, Essential Business

2.    3/19/2020 - On the National Level:
a.    AmericanHort Addresses Coronavirus Concerns
b.    National Association of Landscape Professionals - Coronavirus Resources for Lawn Care and Landscape Companies
c.    EPA Expands Disinfectants List
d.    Centers for Disease Control Website
e.    U.S. Chamber of Commerce Resources and Summary of Latest Congressional Action on Coronavirus Response
f.    The Garden Center Group

3.    3/19/2020 - On the State Level:
a.    MIOSHA - Coronavirus Guidance for Workplaces
b.    Michigan's Coronavirus Website
       i.     Michigan Governor Executive Orders and Directives
       ii.    Resources for Employers & Workers
c.    Michigan Chamber of Commerce - Coronavirus Toolkit
d.    MI Dept of Labor and Economic Opportunity - Layoff Guidance
e.    MI Dept of Treasury Small Business Taxpayers Provided Tax Assistance
f.    MEDC, State's Small Business Support Organizations Join Forces to Develop Resources for Michigan's Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

4.    Strategies that Your Business is Implementing:
In this time of stress and uncertainty, we lean on each other for support and advice. We encourage you to share the strategies that you are implementing and the concerns and/or questions you are hearing (from employees, suppliers, and/or customers). We'll anonymously post these on the website as a resource. Please send this directly to Amy at Amy@MNLA.org.

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