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Maine landscapers considered essential, working during coronavirus pandemic

Landscaping company owners said their work is essential for pest control and safety.

KENNEBUNK, Maine — The Small Business Association postponed National Small Business Week due to the coronavirus pandemic but we believe small businesses need assistance now more than ever.

It's a busy time of year for landscapers, and COVID-19 has them navigating through the weeds to keep yards looking green.

"When all the virus situation started, it caused I would say a lot of uncertainty," Billy Goat Landscaping President Kyle Roberts said.

Roberts said he was concerned he would lose business with people staying at home.

"I thought people would be apt to mowing their own lawn, to take care of their own gardens, but we're still seeing a decent influx in the same customer using our services," Roberts said.

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Meanwhile the president of AC Yard Services said that although he's busy, he lost 11% of customer revenue.

"Mostly businesses that were shut down but some of our larger residential clients as well because they're out of work or lost money in the stock market," AC Yard Services President Justin Hayden said.

Landscaping businesses are considered essential in Maine, as long as companies follow CDC guidelines.

"We have gloves made available for the guys when we can. We try to have them take separate trucks," Roberts said.

"Basically it's with the employees. Talking to each other trying to stay six feet away," Hayden said.

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Both presidents said their work is essential for pest control and safety.

"You would have a lot more ticks if you were driving around and seeing everyone's houses with four feet of grass," Hayden said.

"The walkways and the ability for people to travel is pretty important," Roberts said.

Changing how they do business is what they have to do for now, because the virus doesn't stop the grass from growing.

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