The country is growing restless amongst this pandemic; there are signs that we may be starting to return to normal soon. Many areas have flattened the curve, and some of the worst-hit cities have begun to see a decline. This has been a trying time for all of us. We have continued to work while meeting the shelter-in-place rules; I’m optimistic we are on the backside of the mountain.
In Washington, the USDA continues to finalize the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program while we continue to push for the removal or increase in the payment limitation caps. As we speak, Stimulus Bill 3.5, as we call it, has passed the House and will soon be approved by the Senate, and the President. It includes $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. The application period will re-open soon, and you should be prepared to act fast to secure your payments through that program.
In California, the Governor appears to be embracing the President and is starting to loosen the shelter-in-place orders by allowing elective surgeries to occur. This movement is a good sign, and a could forecast that restaurants and businesses are closer to re-opening. However, we continue to see negative effects. The Attorney General filed a new lawsuit for an injunction on the Federal BiOps, which will only further diminish the Governor’s stated purpose of creating a new paradigm on water that was not centered on litigation. Many thanks to those industry members who stepped up to our Call to Action with a letter to the Governor.
As the saying goes, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do;” this industry has proven that time and time again. We will be on the other side of this crisis soon, with a great story about how we rose to the challenge to provide healthy and nutritious citrus, while carefully protecting our most valuable resource, our employees, and their families. We are not out of the woods yet, but job well done and keep up the work!