As the impacts of Hurricane Irma continue to ripple throughout the U.S. economy, the tropical plant industry faces an uphill climb.
After seeing the damage firsthand, Kingston White, president of wholesale plant broker Morning Dew Tropical Plants, decided something needed to be done. He established a recovery fund to help growers get back on their feet.
The Help Growers Rebuild Fund and will expedite payment of all invoices to growers based in Florida, regardless of due date, to help increase available cash flow for recovery efforts.
Many of the country’s suppliers of tropical plants are based in Florida, and a number of these fragile nurseries suffered serious damage during the storm. Many growers sustained partial crop damage, and some are facing 100 percent loss. Flooding and power issues remain a concern for some growers, and many lost shade structures, which help protect plants from sun, wind, and rain as they grow.
Morning Dew Tropical Plants, which works with dozens of growers across Florida, created the recovery fund with the goal of raising money to assist these growers directly with repairs and rebuilding costs.
To help, companies and organizations like Ambius, the U.S.’s interior landscaping organization, have stepped in to help. Ambius made a foundational donation to the fund, which as of Oct. 15, has raised $17,000. Donations were closed October 15 so that the growers can receive the funds sooner. White hopes to issue payments by Oct. 31 to growers that applied for assistance.
“This year, natural disasters have had a devastating impact on the hard-working growers who dedicate their lives to producing the highest quality tropical plants in the world. The Helping Growers Rebuild Fund will lend a hand to these people who make our lives more beautiful and healthy every day through plants,” said Kingston White, president of Morning Dew Tropical Plants. “These growers and all of us at Morning Dew are humbled by the support we have received from Ambius and other buyers around the industry. It is my hope that this united effort will help our growers get back on their feet quickly.”
Morning Dew Tropical Plants has picked up the tab for administrative costs and overhead associated with fund management. That means 100 percent of the funds donated will be used to repay growers on verified invoices for supplies and repairs used to rebuild.
Growers will submit invoices for participation in this program. The entire program will be audited by a third-party CPA firm.
The Morning Dew recovery fund will be managed by a third-party certified public accountant and payments administered only with verified receipts.
For information on how to apply for funds or to learn more about the Morning Dew Tropical Plants sponsored recovery fund, click here.
“Growers in Florida form the backbone of the plant industry in the U.S.,” said John Myers, president and CEO of Ambius. “We are proud to be part of a plantscape industry that has come together to contribute to recovery efforts for a group that brings so much color, vibrance, and wellness to all of our lives.”
Several organizations have mobilized to help interiorscapers and our partners join together to support recovery efforts for those impacted by the hurricanes. Industry organizations or businesses that enjoy plants or interior landscaping and that wish to lend a hand during recovery efforts can learn more about additional ways to support growers, landscapers, and plant distributors with financial, product, or service donations at the links below.
Photo provided by FNGLA