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Trends and The Evolution of Your Business

So, what are some trends in the green industry? One big one I’d
say these days is change. Change is inevitable—even in a down-home
industry like horticulture. I’m lucky enough to be able to draw on
several generations of experiences in the nursery business to gain
perspective on how quickly things can change.

In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the nursery industry in Colorado was
very different! There were no plastic containers for year-round sales—
all trees, shrubs and perennials were sold either bare-root or balled and
burlapped. That meant that your sales windows were . . .






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Fertilizer Tax Exemption Highlights 2019 Legislative Session

The 2019 Colorado General Assembly Legislative Session concluded on May 3rd. There were 654 bills introduced, 136 bills died and the Governor signed 368 bills into law and vetoed 5 bills. For the first time in 20 years the legislature worked on the weekend. Throughout the session Colorado business community found themselves on the defensive. There were a few things that were priorities of leadership and the Governor’s office that did not pass which we will see comeback next year.

We are proud to report that HB19-1329, a bill that exempts wholesale greenhouses from paying sales tax on fertilizer was passed and signed by Governor Polis. This is a huge win for our industry and will save thousands of dollars to member companies. For more information on specific bills, read the full summary report.

Diverse Training Can Help Your Employees Thrive

The knowledge of managers, supervisors and employees is very important in an independent garden center. Many clients bring in samples and questions that require solutions to various aspects of their yards and gardens, making it important to train all employees from entry level to upper management.

All training for Osuna employees takes place within business hours and they are paid to attend. Participation in training programs and events is counted favorably in annual employee evaluations, which helps with advancement within the company. Employee training in the off season is  . . .

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Fertilizer Receives Tax Exempt Status

CNGA has been working closely with Hicks & Associates, our lobbyist via GreenCO on HB19-1329 to exempt wholesale companies from paying tax on fertilizer inputs. We’re happy to report the bill passed and is headed to the Governor for signature!

During an audit with the Department of Revenue, a CNGA member was informed that they would need to pay sales tax on fertilizer inputs. The member contacted CNGA and we started research. Through our research, we found that Colorado Revised Statute 35-12-103 (30) considers fertilizers used at nurseries & greenhouses as “specialty fertilizers” and therefore are not tax exempt. Since our industry is considered agriculture, and all of the other agriculture industries are exempt, we took action . . .

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Why I Like Shopping at Garden Centers

Even though I’m a new member to the CNGA under the heading of a garden educator, I feel like I know many of you from years of plant shopping in the Denver area. If I haven’t shopped in your store I bet I know your store name or a friend who shops there. It’s a pleasure writing and sharing my plant shopping experiences and observations for the upcoming season.

I’ve never been in your shoes of growing large quantities of plants and ordering all the accessories from soil to hats that any level of gardener will want to put in their shopping cart and take home. It seems daunting and I must give you great praise for successfully keeping at it all these years while ebbing and flowing with the changing ways plants and products are sold. Between the internet, social media and mass merchant box stores, the adaptation curve must . . .

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Family Medical Leave Insurance Legislation

On April 23, 2019, SB19-188 the Family Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI) was heard for the second time on the Senate Floor. This Bill will have a significant impact on Colorado businesses. The Bill creates the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program and the Division of Family and Medical Leave Insurance in the Department of Labor and Employment to provide partial wage replacement benefits to an eligible individual who takes leave from work:

  • To care for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition;
  • Because the eligible individual is unable to work due to the individual's own serious health condition or because the individual or a family member is the victim of abusive behavior; or
  • Due to certain needs arising from a family member's active duty service.

Each employee will pay 40% of a premium and the employer will pay 60% the cost of a premium as specified in the Bill. The premium will be based . . .

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The Hidden Power of Gardening

The word “power” seems an unlikely metaphor for gardening, however the energizing force of spring’s arrival creates a drive within us that is indeed powerful. What is so compelling about gardening that motivates so many of us to endure the aching muscles and dirty fingernails that seem to be a part of the endeavor?

Perhaps the most basic of our needs as human beings are somehow met in our interaction within these spaces that surround and become a part of our homes. Our gardens provide opportunities for creative expression, physical activity, a harvest of food and a connection to the forces and the beauty of the natural world. Every garden is unique as we are individually and this individuality gives us a power to  . .

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Career Fairs Help Us Hire Good People

Arbor Valley Nursery started participating in career fairs in 2017. In less than two years, the company found two key employees at Colorado State University career events and other employees at county job fairs.

We decided it was a good way to get people thinking “Arbor Valley” and increase our brand recognition. Even if we did not find employees, we would increase our presence at CSU and in the community and position ourselves as thought leaders and as an opportunity within the industry. One thing we have realized is that many of the students that we meet at career fairs will . . .

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