COVID’s Continued Impact on the Floral Industry and Local Businesses


Alyssa DeMarest

With the holiday season approaching, local florists may have trouble keeping up with the demand. With supplies still hard to obtain, the increase in orders will likely be harder to fulfill.

Alyssa DeMarest, Reporter

WOODBURY — COVID-19 has managed to impact every aspect of life. Local businesses were hit hardest during the pandemic, many having to close for weeks or even months. While things are starting to open up once again, some businesses are still facing obstacles. These challenges include things such as supply and labor shortages. 

Local floral businesses have been no exception. They are also experiencing supply-chain problems. It’s taking longer for local shops to get materials, and that’s if they can even get them.

One reason for supply issues is quarantine periods. The United States doesn’t grow all the flowers sold from florists; the vast majority of the flowers used by local florists are imported from other countries. Some of the largest flower producers include the Netherlands, Columbia, and Ecuador. Like many imported good, some flowers are temporarily detailed an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Florists have also seen a rise in orders. With people stuck at home, online shopping overall has increased. With many local businesses adding digital components to their offerings within the last few years, many were already equipped to handle this. Even with restrictions easing and commerce starting to normalize, online shopping has become even more prominent with its convenience.

Consumers are continuing to buy more flowers and local businesses are still struggling to keep up; they can’t get all of the materials they need. Local businesses aren’t the only people in the community being affected.

Nonnewaug’s horticulture classes are also experiencing similar problems. 

Nonnewaug’s floriculture class learns about various plants and cut flowers. The supply problems the horticulture industry continues to face has gone on to impact the class, limiting the supplies they can use in their lessons. (Alyssa DeMarest)

Eric Birkenberger is the Greenhouse Plant Production and Processing teacher at Nonnewaug, a class often referred to as “floriculture” or just “plants.” He sees the impact in preparing for class.

“The supplies, both fresh and hard goods, are more expensive across the board and the availability is different than in the past,” Birkenberger said. “Items have to be ordered one week in advance whereas before I could order the night before and receive what I wanted the next day.” 

Students are losing out due to these increased costs and delays making it harder to supply every student with the proper materials due to rising costs. Additionally, yet another outcomes has been that it’s harder for today’s students to do what classes have done in previous years because of COVID’s continued impact.