Rep VanSingel appeals to the Guv
With a few of those teasingly warm Spring days at hand your thoughts may have turned to the yard and the possibilities of starting a little decorative landscaping.
Or perhaps you have tilled up your garden and readied it for the cucumber, pepper, melon and, of course, zucchini plants that will populate the produce plot.
And if you’re not one of those folks who have already begun the process with trays of tomatoes basking in a south viewing window, you count on getting to the greenhouse and grabbing the gardening goods.
Except you can’t go. Greenhouses cannot open due to not being deemed essential.
State Rep Scott VanSingel responded to input from his constituents by sending off a letter to the Governor requesting a second look at this situation, an action that has drawn praise and support on our local social media sites.
Here is his letter.
Dear Governor Whitmer
As you know, Executive Order 2020-21 directed businesses deemed as non-essential to cease in-person work. I’m sure your office has been bombarded with requests from multiple businesses who have been classified as non-essential looking for exemptions. Your clarification and consideration of these requests has been greatly appreciated.
I would like to bring one more industry to your attention, the greenhouse industry. This industry is currently classified as essential which allows them to care for their plants. The problem is that the on- site sales of these plants are currently not permitted. The large majority of the annual sales for the greenhouse industry comes in the next few weeks. While big box retailers have been permitted to operate their garden centers, many of the smaller, local greenhouses sell their products on-site.
I applaud your approach of using sound science to evaluate which industries are essential and which pose a public health risk. My request is that you take a second look at on-site greenhouse sales and find a compromise in which growers could potentially have curbside sales which would limit face to face interaction. There have been promises of grants and loans available to these struggling businesses, however, the aid will simply not be enough for most of these businesses to survive missing nearly an entire season of sales. For example, only $25,000 was allocated in grant money to all of Newaygo county where I live.
Again, I appreciate your leadership and focus on public health during this crisis. I ask that you help us find a compromise for this industry which will both protect public health and save the industry from near certain collapse.
Representative Scott VanSingel