For many garden centers, virus outbreak brings silent spring

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Bothers Mark, left and Tim Ott stand together with Geraniums at Cleveland Ott & Son in Collegeville, a wholesale nursery that sells its flowers and plants to smaller garden centers in the region, most of whom are closed. Tuesday, March 24, 2020. “The coronavirus has been spreading across the globe since January, and now has been identified in the Philadelphia region.”(Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

GLENSIDE, Pa. — Businesses across many sectors have been hurt by the virtual shutdown of commerce — more than half a million Pennsylvanians filed new unemployment claims during the last week.

But independent garden centers say that because of a bureaucratic quirk, the pain is being inflicted unequally across their industry.

While many smaller stores shut down, some garden retailers continue to operate in Pennsylvania under a provision that allows hardware stores to remain open.

Cousins Matt Ott, 17, left and Luke Ott, 16, pull the flowers off the hanging plants so the plants won’t die at Cleveland Ott & Son, a wholesale nursery that sells its flowers and plants to smaller garden centers in the region, most of whom are closed, in Collegeville, Pa., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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