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MNLA E-Training, Project Plant

April 7th: Updates from the MNLA Office

MNLA Members,

At this point the Executive Order it is set to expire on April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. but we are fully expecting that this will be extended. We continue to work towards the adoption and inclusion of the March 28, 2020 federal CISA (US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) guidelines that include lawn care, landscape maintenance, design/build, tree care, and irrigation and water management firms as essential business and an exemption for our independent retail garden centers—as soon as the Governor determines it is safe for these segments of our industry to go back to work (the current Executive Order refers to the March 19th, 2020 federal guidelines, that do not include our industry). Thus, giving you a choice so you can decide if you can comply with the CDC social distancing guidelines and safely go back to work.

Until this happens, the MNLA Board of Directors continues to recommend that if you are not directly exempted in Executive Order No. 2020-21 as a “business necessary to sustain or protect life”, that you stay closed and do not work.

We understand your frustration at not being able to work and the concern and fear that this virus has brought—both for the safety of your employees and those you care about—and encourage you to continue to reach out to us. The entire MNLA Team continues to work for you and is available to help you navigate through this and answer as many questions as we’re able. Please direct your questions or concerns to Amy at Amy@MNLA.org

Efforts this past week:

1. For our Independent Retail Garden Centers –
        a.) On April 1 - we submitted a letter on your behalf to the Governor and Director of the MI Dept of Ag & Rural Development. This letter was written by AmericanHort and contained signatures from our retailers.
        b.) On April 3 – the President of MI Farm Bureau submitted a letter on your behalf to the Governor and Director of the MI Dept of Ag & Rural Development.

2. For our lawn care, landscape maintenance, design/build, tree care, and irrigation and water management firms –
        a.) On April 2, a Call to Action was sent out to our members and over 10,000 emails were sent to our Michigan Legislators and the Governor. We’ve received good response from our legislators and will let you know what we hear from the Governor’s Office. Our appreciation to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) for their assist in this effort.
    
3. Secretary of State services (Plates and CDL licenses) – We are now an established clearing house for our member firms in need of Secretary of State Emergency Services. This is available for emergency, timely needs to support critical infrastructure and agriculture sector operations.
        a.) If you are exempt from the Executive Order and are currently working and need Secretary of State (SoS) services please fill out this form and return it to Amy@MNLA.org. We will submit your information and a representative from the SoS will follow up with you directly.
    
4. Pesticide Applicator Certification – We continue to work with the MI Dept of Ag & Rural Development and the Governor’s Office for allowances for expiring certifications and new certifications that are needed now (for critical infrastructure workers) and the backlog that will occur as soon as the Order expires.
    
5. Online Resources, Opportunities, and Training we’re sending out weekly updates on electronic learning opportunities. Click Here for this week’s (April 7-9th) opportunities. Please contact Emily at Emily@MNLA.org for more information.

Additional resources to help you and your business:

  1. Capital Resources Available to Michigan Businesses Affected by COVID-19 This document provides information on Federal and State Loans and Tax Assistance for Small Business.
  2. MI Unemployment Benefits – Frequently Asked Questions by Employers can be found by clicking HERE.
  3. Michigan Paycheck Protection Program – the MI Dept of Labor & Economic Opportunity announces a new site that provides access for small businesses to the $349 billion in federal forgivable loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Click HERE to learn more.
  4. National Resources are available at:
    1. National Association of Landscape Professionals
    2. AmericanHort