Florists, garden centers considered ‘essential services’ in NH


WHY FLORISTS? We don’t begrudge any business owner for desperately wanting to maintain his or her livelihood amid the coronavirus pandemic, but Gov. Chris Sununu’s decision to include florists and garden centers on his list of essential services certainly prompts a simple question.>> Download the FREE WMUR appWhy are florists essential?Especially when none of the surrounding states view them as essential. And Sununu has been saying he was following the lead of Massachusetts in deciding what’s essential and what’s not in order to keep people from other states from unnecessarily traveling into New Hampshire during the emergency.Near the top of Sununu’s list of essential services are:“Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, florists and other retail, including farmers markets and farm stands, that sells food and beverage products, including liquor stores.”And:“Nurseries, greenhouses, garden centers and agriculture supply stores.”In Vermont, the “Greenhouse, Nursey and Floricultural Production” industry is listed as not critical, although they “may operate limited in-person business operations for essential care and maintenance of plants.”Massachusetts lists workers supporting farmers markets and farm stands that sell food products as essential, but not florists, greenhouses or nurseries.Maine lists “food processing and agriculture,” but not florists.Sununu spokesperson Ben Vihstadt told us that in New Hampshire, florists are considered an essential service because “they provide essential services for funeral homes.”“Nurseries, garden centers, greenhouses are categorized under food services and produce or sell items that produce food,” Vihstadt emailed.He added: “The state closely aligned the essential business list with our regional partners, and numerous state agencies were involved in formulating the list.”He also pointed out: “Any business can request essential status by emailing [email protected]

WHY FLORISTS? We don’t begrudge any business owner for desperately wanting to maintain his or her livelihood amid the coronavirus pandemic, but Gov. Chris Sununu’s decision to include florists and garden centers on his list of essential services certainly prompts a simple question.

>> Download the FREE WMUR app

Why are florists essential?

Especially when none of the surrounding states view them as essential. And Sununu has been saying he was following the lead of Massachusetts in deciding what’s essential and what’s not in order to keep people from other states from unnecessarily traveling into New Hampshire during the emergency.

Near the top of Sununu’s list of essential services are:

“Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, florists and other retail, including farmers markets and farm stands, that sells food and beverage products, including liquor stores.”

And:

“Nurseries, greenhouses, garden centers and agriculture supply stores.”

In Vermont, the “Greenhouse, Nursey and Floricultural Production” industry is listed as not critical, although they “may operate limited in-person business operations for essential care and maintenance of plants.”

Massachusetts lists workers supporting farmers markets and farm stands that sell food products as essential, but not florists, greenhouses or nurseries.

Maine lists “food processing and agriculture,” but not florists.

Sununu spokesperson Ben Vihstadt told us that in New Hampshire, florists are considered an essential service because “they provide essential services for funeral homes.”

“Nurseries, garden centers, greenhouses are categorized under food services and produce or sell items that produce food,” Vihstadt emailed.

He added: “The state closely aligned the essential business list with our regional partners, and numerous state agencies were involved in formulating the list.”

He also pointed out: “Any business can request essential status by emailing [email protected]

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