Due to the number of terrorist threats in the United States since 9/11, and most recently with the level orange terrorism alert on the East Coast, florists in Connecticut have been experiencing a number of problems with deliveries.
When federal officials announced that a number of financial buildings in the United States were possible sites for terrorist attacks, companies around the country started to beef up security. One of the ways the government thinks the attacks may happen is by using vans or other motor vehicles as bombs, and a number of florists have been suffering the effects of this belief.
In downtown Hartford, Conn., city officials put a policy in place that, until further notice, florists vans can no longer remain running without a driver, according to the Connecticut Florists Association. Hartford is home to several of the country’s largest insurance companies and major banking institutions, which have high-rises there. Florist drivers must now take their vans to designated parking areas away from the buildings, park, turn off the vehicles and then deliver the flowers, causing a lot of time and money as well as efficiency and profits to be lost during prime delivery hours.
According to Bob Heffernan, executive director for the Connecticut Florist Association, a number of the members took a florist tour last week and had to drive through New York City. On the way though the city police officers had barricades up in the middle of I-95, one of the major highways in the state, and checked every truck going into the city. Companies all over the country should pay close attention to the new procedures being put into place in the United States due to all of the recent terrorist threats that are coming in.
Another effect is that many companies in the state are beginning to get tougher about allowing flower deliveries to employees while on the job. Concerns about security and employee productivity and interruptions have forced new policies that, in some cases, have hurt florist sales, according to the Connecticut Florist Association. The state’s phone company, SBC in downtown New Haven, now has a policy that prevents any staffer from receiving personal deliveries while working inside the building, according to the association.
According to Heffernan, florists are having to try to convince customers to have flowers sent to the recipient’s home instead of the office because of the new policies at some of the companies. He also said that it is difficult for florists because a number of people view getting flowers at work as status, and people look to see where the flowers come from, adding a lot of business opportunities for the florists. Without the ability to deliver to many businesses, that recognition lessens.
However, Heffernan did add that despite the difficulties a number of florists are currently having with their deliveries, it is a matter of national safety. Because it is being done for the safety of the United States and all of the people in it, florists are keeping complaints to a minimum because they understand the reasoning behind the recent policies.