From Dave Wright, LO President and Tony DiGiovanni, Executive Director
The COVID-19 situation is unsettling. Most of our members are worried about their families, employees, customers and businesses just as the season is starting. Garden Centre owners are wondering if there will be a complete ban on retail right in the middle of spring season. Growers are worried that Mexican and Caribbean employees that come up every year will be caught in the travel ban. Contractors are wondering how they can support their employees if they are forced to downsize because of the economic impact of the virus. Everyone is worried that we are entering a period of depression or recession that will quickly contract the market. The largest issue facing our profession was the difficulty in finding employees. Now, the fear is that our customers will delay their landscape projects because of economic uncertainty. On the other hand with no one travelling and everyone stuck at home, the garden will be much more important.
It is good to know we have choices and actions we can take despite the dynamic nature of this COVID-19 issue. It is also good to know we are part of a horticultural community facing the same challenges together.
In times like these, there are many conflicting and many times false messages in the media. It is important to get your information from credible sources. We suggest you take a break from the media once in a while. It is very easy to get overwhelmed. It is also important to talk about your fears to trusted friends. Problems tend to shrink a little when you share them. Please reach out to your peers to discuss the situation. Supporting each other is so important and helpful.
We are relying on information from Ontario Public Health and Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health site is reassuring because it provides detail about the number of tests and cases, including location information.
As we go through these turbulent and unsettled times, it is good to know, we are part of a larger group of members who are all facing the same challenges and who are working diligently to find solutions.
Your staff family at Landscape Ontario are taking precautions to keep everyone safe. Operations are continuing during this time however the staff is working remotely. They are available by phone, email and social media.
All seminars have been cancelled.
The LO family cares. The LO family has your back. We will get through this.
If you have any questions, concerns, comments or suggestions please email Tony DiGiovanni