The flowers are blooming, but customers are drying up in the flower district. The cancellation of large events has brought businesses here to a standstill.
“There are parties, the bar mitzvahs, there are weddings, there are events for everything, corporate stuff,” said Gary Page, Owner of G Page Wholesale.
All cancelled, just as the businesses were gearing up for the busy spring season.
“Nobody can get together, nobody is coming here to buy anything,” said Jennifer Wit, Florist.
Before the crisis Jennifer Wit’s store was buzzing with workers helping with the rush of customers and deliveries for the day, but the crisis has forced many of her corporate customers to slash their floral budget.
“All freelancers have been laid off and we’re not sure when they will be able to be hired back again,” said Wit.
The flower district, which is centered in and around 28th street and 6th avenue, has been around for more than 100 years. Most businesses are wholesalers.
“We are sending trucks with flowers outside the city. We are still operational and were just trying to keep it alive. It’s a very difficult environment right now,” said Natan Alpert, Co-Owner, New York Flower.
“Everybody in this whole segment of the flower industry is involved from the grower, to the exporter, to the importer, which we are to the florists and the transporters in between,” said Cas Trap, Co-Owner, New York Flower Group.
To try to survive, many of these wholesalers are trying to move their business online and beyond New York.
“We are trying to promote more online ordering trying to send flowers maybe to your elderly neighbors that really can’t go outside,” said Wit.
“We figure the best thing is to deliver the flowers to the customers instead of the customers coming to us,” said Trap.
Because at this point no one is showing up.
Source: Spectrum News NY1 | Manhattan