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“Our retail sales and wholesale sales increased,” said Hope Ciferni, Nursery Manager at Five Oaks Nursery. “People had to stay home, so they decided to invest money in their yards.” Unable to experience much of the outside world in person, consumers sought the help of the green industry to beautify their outdoor spaces and provide a respite from the boredom of being largely stuck at home. “After a few months of lockdown, we had many people come to the nursery just to walk around. Parks were closed at that time, so we became a kind of field trip,” said Mark Gantt, Plant Protection Manager at Hefner‘s Nursery. “And lots of people bought something while they were here.” Cultivating New Ways of Doing Business During 2020, essential businesses could remain open if they followed safety protocols to protect employees and clients. The NCNLA members surveyed said they provided personal protective gear to employees, used signage to promote social distancing and modified work practices to reduce the number of employees working closely together. Some members took business transactions outside, so they could accommodate client visits without increasing the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus. “We closed the office to customers and moved outside to a pop-up tent,” said Gantt. “We are still using it now, and we may build a covered deck to replace the tent permanently.”

SPRING 2021 || NURSERY & LANDSCAPE NOTES 23

Profile for North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association

Nursery & Landscape Notes Spring 2021  

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