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Resource roundup: Navigating the green industry’s changing landscape

Someone working on a laptopThe spring of 2020 will be unlike any other experienced by green industry businesses. While sales typically blossom around this time of year, the impact of the coronavirus spread, new social distancing measures, and changing consumer habits are transforming the ways companies in the horticultural industry like yours work and grow.

Hortica is committed to helping your business thrive, even in these uncertain times. We’ve gathered several resources from our fellow industry leaders to help keep your operation evergreen—through spring and beyond.

Business and financial assistance

Some horticultural businesses have temporarily closed. Others have adjusted their business model by helping shoppers choose products without in-person assistance and otherwise providing service to their customers in new ways. Each option can change expected income and expenses. That makes monitoring your finances and knowing your options for loans and assistance—if needed—more important than ever.

  • AmericanHort has an entire resource section dedicated to business relief information, including industry-specific information for garden retailers, growers and producers, and landscapers.
  • The Society of American Florists (SAF) maintains their own dashboard, which contains important links to federal aid information, up-to-date industry news, and state-by-state business directives.
  • The National Association of Landscape Professionals has an extensive list of resources as well, with important links to OSHA and business operation guidance documents, as well a breakdown of financial benefit opportunities from the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
  • Seven12 Management’s COVID-19 Policy Tracker outlines newly available business loan programs, tax relief options, FMLA, and unemployment requirements to keep you up to date.
  • A recent Forbes article outlines new federal and state-specific small business assistance
  • Communications and marketing

    Marketing your goods and services—and any information about how they’ve changed—is critical to keeping your business profitable.

  • This article from GrowerTalks outlines best practices for green industry communication strategies.
  • Green Profit also shared a collection of communication and marketing considerations to help keep you connected with customers.
  • A recent webinar from the Society of American Florists (SAF) discusses planning, prep, and best practices for floral industry marketing and communication.
  • Greenhouse Grower magazine recently featured a number of examples of how companies are promoting plants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) also has many resources, including advice from their marketing counsel and topics specific to the floral industry, as well as growers and shippers.
  • Technology

    As social distancing measures drive more customers online, new technology can mean new opportunities, making it even more important to stay proactive when it comes to your business’s technical capabilities and online security.

  • Penn State Extension recently hosted a webinar on ramping up curbside service and online sales.
  • Earlier this year, we at Hortica published several articles with recommendations on how to protect critical information on third-party software, as well as how to reduce your risk of cyber data theft.
  • The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) website outlines cybersecurity best practices for small businesses.
  • We hope these resources shed some new light on the questions you may have about your business as you watch the calendar. As always, Hortica is here to help—if you have additional questions about your business and insurance options, please contact us.