Tuesday September 15, 2020
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that six states have been removed form the New York State's COVID-19 travel advisory. Puerto Rico has been added.

States and areas removed:
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • Ohio

States and areas added:
  • Puerto Rico
New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) has Announced It Will Start Distributing Payments for the Lost Wage Assistance
The New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) has announced that it will start distributing payments for the Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) program. The LWA program provides an additional $300 in weekly unemployment benefits, replacing the expired weekly $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefit.
Eligible New Yorkers will receive $900 in LWA payments - $300 per week for the weeks ending August 2nd, 9th, and 16th. Under federal rules, NYS may be eligible for additional weeks of LWA funding after the funds for those three weeks are disbursed.
Those who already qualify should have received an email or text on Friday (9/11) stating that no further action is required.
NYS DOL will be contacting individuals, via email, who need to submit additional certifications to qualify for the benefit.
For more information on the LWA program, click here.
EDA Announcement in Lake George
The Chamber was pleased to have Susan Matton, Vice President for Economic Development, at the announcement by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of an award of over $3.2 million in Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding to the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Development Board. The funding will be used to help businesses, organizations, and communities impacted by COVID-19. The Chamber looks forward to working actively with LCLGRPB on implementation of the project. Speakers at the event, which was held in Lake George, included Assemblyman Dan Stec and elected officials from the Lake George area. Pictured in the photo are Congresswoman Sefanik and representatives of LCLGRPB and Dept of Commerce/EDA. 
GOV Cuomo Announces Virtual TASTENY Producer Showcase to Boost NY's Farms, small food and Beverage Businesses
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced last week the virtual Taste NY Producer Showcase, which was created to boost business for New York's farms and small food and beverage makers.

The first of its kind, online business-to-business networking event will help to connect New York's agricultural businesses with potential new buyers of food products, and to grow new business relationships in the marketplace, which has been impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Virtual Taste NY Producer Showcase, taking place on October 27, 2020, is now open for registration for vendors and buyers.

Using an online platform, farms and food and beverage makers from the Adirondacks and Capital Region, as well as from across the State, will present their products to potential buyers in the region. Buyers can include retailers, restaurants, grocers, specialty markets, schools, institutions and distributors, looking to purchase New York products.

Producers must register online by September 25. The event will be capped at 50 vendors. Buyers must register by October 20.

Registration is $15 for vendors and $5 for buyers, and will provide a directory of participants, and a marketing webinar in advance of the event date where businesses will be provided tips to fast-pitch and highlight their products.
SICK LEAVE LAW WORKSHOP: Build a Compliant Policy
New York's mandatory paid sick leave law goes into effect on September 30th of this year. This workshop is designed to help you comply with the requirements of the new law.

Date: September 30, 2020
Time: 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Cost: Free, Registration Required

You will learn about:

  • Accruing leave time starting September 30th, 2020
  • Use of leave time starting January 1, 2021
  • Calculating if you will be required to provide paid time off or protected leave
  • Types of leave covered by the law
  • Updating your leave policies

If you would like help complying with this new mandate, pull out your current leave policy so you can refer to it during the webinar. Jaci Kelleher Esq. of Stafford Owens Law Firm will walk through the requirements of the law and you can update your own policy during the workshop.
GOV Cuomo Announces $88.6M in Child CARES Act Funding
Governor Cuomo announced $88.6 million in federal CARES Act funding is available to assist child care providers through NY Forward grants as they adjust their programs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is in addition to $30 million made available in the spring and $48.3 million recently awarded to assist child care providers with reopening or restructuring their physical plans to meet new social distancing requirements.
The $88.6 million in grant funds will be used as follows:
  • $20M will support child care scholarships for children of essential workers. 
  • $20M is being made available for rental assistance for school-based child care programs that have been displaced by the pandemic. 
  • $20M would support grants for closed child care programs to reopen or restructure under new guidelines for social distancing. 
  • The remaining $28.6 million will provide grants for child care providers to pay for half of the cost (up to $6,000) to open a new classroom.
Child care providers may apply for the funding here. Applications will be posted later this month and will be accepted on a rolling basis until December 31, 2020.
Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Expands Non-essential Travel Radius 
Effective Friday, Sept. 11, the non-essential travel radius for residents of Akwesasne’s southern portion and those subject to the Tribe’s jurisdiction has expanded to 200 miles (320 milometers) in both the United States and Canada, with the exception of Ottawa and Montreal due to increased infections.

Patrons of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort are restricted to the previous travel radius of 100 miles (160 kilometers).The Tribe’s EOC, in conjunction with the Compliance Department, also announced that on-premise alcohol sales is permitted when accompanied with a dine-in meal at SRMT licensed restaurants between the hours of 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
GOV Cuomo on Halloween: "I Would Not Ban Trick or Treaters"
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he would not ban trick-or-treaters from going door to door this Halloween during an interview with News 12 Long Island with Tara Joyce.
Governor Cuomo: I would not ban trick-or-treaters going door to door. I don't think that's appropriate. You have neighbors - if you want to go knock on your neighbor's door, God bless you and I'm not going to tell you not to. If you want to go for a walk with your child through the neighborhood, I'm not gonna tell you you can't take your child to the neighborhood, I'm not going to do that - I'll give you my advice and guidance and then you will make a decision what you do that night.

  • Forward NY: Official State Website for opening procedures and guidelines.

  • Looking for Supplies: If your business is looking for hard to find protective products, we have created a list of businesses offering hand sanitizer, gloves, wipes, masks and other items.

  • Now Hiring: Whether you are hiring or looking for work, we have a page dedicated to helping pair potential employees with employers.

  • Webinars: Did you miss one of our webinars, you can find them all here.

  • SCORE: Visit Scores Coronavirus page for webinars and useful articles for small businesses.
To help the North Country reopen safely and meet the state and local mandates, The North Country Chamber of Commerce has created a comprehensive list of resources to navigate state and local requirements. Check out the home page for details. There is also a series of webinars available for businesses to help educate and provide answers to common questions.
Have Questions? We're here to help!

North Country Chamber of Commerce