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I was able to take a short hike after work yesterday with my wife.  Nice to get out, “make some vitamin D” and get some exercise. Today’s weather will include showers, mainly before 11:00 am with a high near 44 and a low around 34.. East wind 5 to 8 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

Garrett College announced yesterday that they have cancelled their Spring 2020 in-person graduation that was scheduled for May 16th.  All graduates will now graduate in absentia.  For more on Garrett College’s efforts relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, go here.  I believe the college has done an excellent job of addressing, responding to and communicating relative to the COVID-19 crisis.

I also heard yesterday that Salem Children’s Trust in Grantsville will be closing June 6th. Salem is a great institution that helps a variety of children, including those “at risk.” I have had the pleasure of teaching a few sessions on entrepreneurship over there and really enjoyed it.  I also know some folks that work there. Not sure what the situation is, as I just heard about it yesterday afternoon on WCBC’s short post on Facebook. I hope that a last-minute “miracle” happens and that they can stay open!

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has declared that any business involved in food distribution, production, processing, sales and supply will be considered essential during the pandemic.  This includes farmers markets. The Mountain Fresh Farmers Market is attempting to develop a plan to keep its vendors and customers as safe as possible at the market (next one is scheduled for 3/28). One option is to set up outside at the pavilion, where the summer markets are held. A survey has been created to see how many customers will be able to attend the market, under what circumstances. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome. Please, complete this survey to help us understand your needs!

If you are an owner or manager of a small business of under 50 employees, you should check out this site by the Maryland Department of Labor.  They have funding (both loans and grants) available to possibly help you, your employees and your business make it through this crisis. They also have a program for manufacturing businesses. Check it out and spread the word please.

OK, let’s take a walk on the lighter side here folks.  Specifically, I am thinking jelly beans.  According to candystore.com, April is the de-facto “month of the jelly bean.”  Here’s some insight for you directly from candy store.com: “In a normal year, over 16 billion beans are made just for the Easter season. With Easter Egg hunts largely cancelled this year, it’s tough to tell whether fewer jelly beans will be needed. Perhaps more families will conduct their own private hunts around the house. And of course, Easter baskets will still need to be filled.” Here’s more…

Jelly Bean Quick Facts