MAINE, USA — Many industries are taking a hard hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the flower industry is no exception.
Many florists and growers across the state currently have plenty of flowers ready to go out the door. Sales have drastically fallen for both florists and growers in the state.
These are typically their strongest months for business, but this year it's looking very different. Weddings and large events are put off, making the flower business at an all-time low.
"It's been challenging, so I would say when the first signs of it hit back on March 15. It's like someone flipped a light switch...70 percent of our business just evaporated overnight," Joseph Langlois, the owner of Bangor Floral said.
"I think right now we are uniquely positioned as the safe and secure way of reaching out and touching friends and families, during births, and mothers day, and get wells, I think we serve a vital function right now to keep people connected safely," said Langois from Bangor Floral.
Bangor Floral has been in business for 95 years. Never has it seen such a financial impact on its business. Langlois tells NEWS CENTER Maine he currently has thousands of dollars worth of flowers in the store right now.
Last month, before dumping out flowers that were dying he decided to instead make arrangements and deliver them to nursing homes.
It is the peak season for growers like the Pratt Family Greenhouse in Newport.
"We have probably close to 3,000 in there, which we started back in February," said Pratt.
Pratt says May and June are usually his strongest months. The greenhouse in Newport has seen a spike in vegetable plants, now that more people are doing victory gardens.
"It's been really a struggle because I really rely on customers stopping in and browsing and looking for flowers, but then also buying shop merchandise," said Beth Renault, the owner of Floret in Somesville.
Like the other florists, Floret is offering curb-side pick up for flower arrangements.
"I have to over-order and if the flowers go by and I don't get enough orders for that week, then that's definitely a loss," said Renault.
Floret has had approximately a 70 percent loss in sales from what she would usually sell in a month.
Mare Brook Farm in Brunswick has had very early blossoms this year.
"We launched our #MaineBlooms — effort to donate flowers to essential workers/frontline heroes at Mid Coast Hospital workers in Brunswick," said Courtney Mongell from Mare Brook Farm.
"We’ve also begun partnering with local businesses to offer flowers as part of their curbside offerings," said Mongell. "While we’re looking to grow beautiful flowers for the community, we’re even more focused on ways that we can spread joy, hope, and partnerships within the community. We’re all in this together so whether it’s sharing flowers or helping to champion new services, we’re all in, in order to help Maine bloom again."
Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 10.
Florists and growers want to remind everyone that most of them are opened for business these days either for curbside pickup or deliveries.