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Coronavirus Resources & Updates

During this period of uncertainly brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to share with you our view and let you know some things we are working through on behalf of our members and the green industry. We understand this situation brings on high levels of anxiety due to the rapid change occurring around us. We will do our best to update this page in as timely a manner as possible.


 

Click here for guidelines on continuing to operate as an Essential Business.

 


 

Financial Assistance

Ohio companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are now eligible to apply for loans through the Small Business Administration.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
The CARES Act includes several provisions business owners will find important. The act expands loan and grant programs, as well as provides debt relief assistance, to assist businesses with liquidity. To spur demand, the act includes stimulus checks to many American taxpayers and expands unemployment insurance benefits. Download more information here.

Programs include:

Paycheck Protection Program 
This new program provides small businesses and other entities with zero-fee loans of up to $10 million. The program outlines that up to 8 weeks of average payroll and other costs will be forgiven if the business retains its employees and their salary levels. Principal and interest are deferred for up to a year and all borrower fees are waived. Learn more here.

On April 16, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program exhausted its funds. New applications will not be accepted unless Congress extends additional funding.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Economic Injury Grants
Grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments. Apply online here.

Small Business Debt Relief Program
This program will provide a reprieve to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under it, SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months.

Visit this website for more information or call 1-800-659-2955.

 

Income Tax Filing and Payment Update

At this time, the IRS has extended the PAYMENT and FILING deadline to July 15, 2020. More information can be found on the IRS' Coronavirus page 

We are in contact with our partners for expert employment and tax guidance and will share relevant insights as the situation evolves.

 

State-by-State Guidelines

The Nursery & Landscape Association Executives has information on business operations in each state, as well as how shipments to and within each state are affected. View the resource here.

 

Workforce Concerns

 


 

Additional Information

 We are working with key industry collaborators including AmericanHort, NALP, and Nursery and Landscape Association Executives among others, to address issues impacting our businesses and industry.  Here are some of the ways our group is working on your behalf:

 

  • On April 10, AmericanHort led a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, in which ONLA and more than 100 other organizations urged the Secretary to ensure any forthcoming USDA assistance includes nursery and floriculture crop farmers affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Read the letter here. 
  • Effective March 18 the U.S. Consulate in Mexico will cease all visa processing. We know many businesses are awaiting the arrival of workers via seasonal worker visa programs. We are in touch with government partners and business coalitions as we work to ensure these programs are not unnecessarily disrupted. We are pressing the case that H-2 visa processing should be prioritized and should continue.  Read the Agriculture Workforce Coalition letter to Secretary of State.
  • As some local communities consider mandating business closures, we and partners serving the garden retail and landscape communities are working on a grassroots campaign to mitigate the possible impact on retail operations and landscape services, as well as develop success strategies for both.
    • We have sent a letter to Governor DeWine stressing that our industry's businesses exercise the option to remain open for business as "essential" services. Read the letter here .
    • We are participating in an NALP program that would help define landscape services as “essential”. Read the NALP letter here.
    • We are participating in an AmericanHort program that would help protect garden retailers as “essential”.  Download a letter that you can customize and send to your local elected officials.

 

 

Finally, as much as this unprecedented situation is rattling communities across America, we can make the best of a tough situation if we as an industry can leverage ways to communicate the positive human health, mental, and physical wellness benefits of plants and of gardening activities.  Consider speaking with your employees, customers, and communities about the many benefits of working with plants during this time working and schooling from home.  There are a number of good articles and related messaging posted in Dr. Charlie Hall’s website. 

It goes without saying that as we face the days ahead the primary importance is the well being of our membership, employees, and the communities in which we live and operate. We will continue to work on your behalf as we navigate uncharted waters. As an industry, we will get through this. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have. We look forward to working together to ensure the future viability of our industry.

 

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