COVID and social distancing continues to challenge Garden Centers to adjust their operations and activities during the Holiday season. GCC Board members Michael Morris with The Flower Bin, Diana Mundinger with Eagle Crest and Trela Phelps with City Floral share some of the changes they are making to ensure their customers have a positive holiday shopping experience.
Please share how you are dealing with COVID during the Winter and Holiday season by emailing Cheryl DeBaise via email@example.com. We want to hear from all members and will post to this ongoing list as new updates are emailed to GCC.
We encourage people to continue to grow food indoors by stocking:
The biggest change has to do with the events that we normally have in this season. It is especially hard because many of them had become part of the area’s family traditions. We are advertising Holiday traditions with a twist this year.
Ladies’ night has now become Ladies all day event offering discounts and featuring new products as usual but expanding hours to spread people out. We are not pouring wine or having any food tables.
Open House weekend will expand to 10 days and offer prize drawings, and photo op settings. No Santa but will have a life size stuffed Santa within a photo setting. No food table or hot cider giveaway. Still offering wagon rides- just 1 family per ride.
Tree selection happens outside- rows will be a little more spaced out to allow for distancing
The indoor Christmas shop is also spaced out in the store to allow for distancing. Ornaments etc. that are normally displayed on trees are also on pegs alongside the trees to make it easier to see choices and reduce lingering in the store
We will monitor the amount of people in the store and may have to delay entry if customers cannot be safely apart
We will continue sanitizing surfaces regularly
We will continue the safety practices with the staff that we have practiced this summer- Plexiglas partitions, symptom monitoring etc.
We will stock gardening items, especially seeds and seed starting supplies, prominently in the store to continue the gardening trend and encourage gifts of these items. Also, reminding customers of the essential nature of our core business- growing - including edible plants.
With luck, we will be able to do all this barring any shutdown which would be a blow to all of us selling the perishable goods of Christmas trees, greens, poinsettias.
Increased space for Christmas trees shopping- utilizing a greenhouse in the back of the building added lights and framework to allow trees to lean untied.
Increased cutting stations for trees and separated by customers needing stands put on or just a clean cut.
Holiday Masks for the tree lot employees, to keep the experience joyful _ they wear Christmas themed uniforms at this anyway – so just an add on.
Updating website with wreathes and Christmas tree sizing and price, to ease curbside purchasing.
Canceled our Holiday open house, created Holiday Greenbacks to give out on those 3 days to be used through the holidays. Extended coupons and weekly specials.
We have identified top spending customers from previous Open Houses, created a pop up on the POS system to notify employees of these customers so they can extend the regular Open House discount to them as a courtesy.
Personally, called customers that received Christmas tree delivery last year to ask how they like to procced during COVID.
Created a second decorating area to space out employees and customers.
Started ZOOM classes with garden clubs -Topics on Holiday décor.
GCC remains dedicated to supporting the IGC community in Colorado. The following resources and information links are provided to members as guidance. This is an ever changing situation and information will be updated as soon as possible. Check back periodically for new updates.
Small Business Administration
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) ACT
Department of Labor Resources
Centers for Disease Control
CO 4th Updated Public Health Order 20-24: March 26 through April 26 (extended from April 11): Stay home except for essential needs. Critical Businesses are exempt and encouraged to stay open, but must comply with Social Distancing Requirements (6 ft. distancing, hygiene, and cleaning) at all times and implement strategies, such as staggered schedules or redesigning workplaces, to create more distance between workers unless doing so would make it impossible to carry out critical functions.
CO Executive Order D 2020-039: Face Coverings: Issued April 17, effective through May 17: Directs the CO Dept of Public Health issue a public health order requiring that workers in Critical Businesses and Critical Government Functions, where workers interact in close proximity with other employees or the public, to wear medical or nonmedical cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth while working, except where doing so would inhibit that individual's health; and, to the extent possible, wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods if gloves are provided to workers by their employers.
Colorado SBA: SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans in Colorado
GCC supports the IGC community in Colorado as essential business and encourages all members to develop the appropriate safety measures that work best with your location. Safety of employees and customers should be your top priority by following CDC guidelines and complying with executive orders.
The Board of Directors of GCC has compiled this running list of suggestions and ideas to consider as we deal with our changing business operations.
This list will be updated, so check back often. GCC members should email our Association Director with any updates to your operations so we can add to this list: firstname.lastname@example.org.