Tuesday March 16, 2021
Join us TOMORROW for our St. Patrick's Day Event!
Featuring MC Matt Boire and a crazy cast of Irish characters, the Luck of the Irish will "socially distance" celebrate a Chamber member at the Annual St. Patrick's Day event!

This special event is held each year to honor the Irishman of the Year, a tradition based on dedication of volunteerism, whether in business, the community, through civic activities or a combination of any of these.

Join us VIRTUALLY - Tomorrow - to honor this year's Irishman of the Year:
  • Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021
  • Time: 8:00AM - 9:00AM
  • Location: Virtual (link will be sent once registration is received)
  • Registration Fees: $15 per person / $30 for not yet members
  • Proceeds will support the continued work of your Chamber during this time
State's Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo updated New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It is important to note that data, including test results and hospital rates, reported early in the week are often not completely reflective of the current situation due to lower discharges and testing volume over the weekend. Data trends over a period of time, such as using 7-day averages, are a preferred metric.
"We know that the vaccine is the weapon that will win this war, but we also know that one of the most critical actions to stopping the spread of COVID is washing your hands, wearing a mask and practicing social distancing," Governor Cuomo said. "As more vaccine supply comes to New York and more needles get into arms, we are that much closer to reaching our goals, but we need to remain vigilant. New Yorkers have made incredible progress that we can all be proud of but we are still in the footrace. Until the day we reach the light at the end of the tunnel, we must all remain New York Tough."
Updates of State Vaccination Program
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today updated New Yorkers on the state's vaccination program. 122,778 doses have been administered across New York's vast distribution network in the last 24 hours, and more than 1 million doses have been administered over the past seven days.
"New York's weekly vaccine allocation has been increasing over time, and we're getting shots into arms as quickly as possible using our vast distribution network," Governor Cuomo said. "It's critical that we continue to expand that network as eligibility expands and supply increases, and the state is doubling down on its commitment to equity and fairness in the distribution process, including reaching underserved communities. New Yorkers have gone through hell to reach this point, and now that the vaccine is here, we need to continue practicing safe behaviors until more residents and their families take the vaccine." 

Vaccination program numbers below are for doses distributed and delivered to New York for the state's vaccination program, and do not include those reserved for the federal government's Long Term Care Facility program. A breakdown of the data based on numbers reported to New York State as of 11AM today is as follows.        
  • Total doses administered - 6,699,848
  • Percent of New Yorkers with one vaccine dose - 22.5%
  • Percent of New Yorkers with completed vaccine series - 11.6%  
Stefanik, Malliotakis Introduce Bill to Extend PPP Deadline
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik cosponsored a bill introduced by Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) to amend the Small Business Act and the CARES Act to extend the covered period for the Paycheck Protection Program until June 30, 2021. Currently, the deadline to apply for funds is March 31, 2021.

Congresswoman Stefanik issued the following statement: “More than $128 billion for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program remains, but the deadline to apply is less than 3 weeks away. North Country small businesses are still hurting, and it’s absolutely essential this bill is passed to give them more time to determine their loan amount eligibility, file an application, resolve any potential issues, and access these critical funds.”
SBA Extends Deferment Period for all COVID-19 EIDL and Other Disaster Loans until 2022
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, until 2022.
  • All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 24-months from the date of the note.
  • All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2021, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 18-months from the date of the note.
Existing SBA disaster loans approved prior to 2020 in regular servicing status as of March 1, 2020, received an automatic deferment of principal and interest payments through December 31, 2020. This initial deferment period was subsequently extended through March 31, 2021. An additional 12-month deferment of principal and interest payments will be automatically granted to these borrowers. Borrowers will resume their regular payment schedule with the payment immediately preceding March 31, 2022, unless the borrower voluntarily continues to make payments while on deferment. It is important to note that the interest will continue to accrue on the outstanding balance of the loan throughout the duration of the deferment.

Questions on SBA COVID-19 EIDL and disaster loan payments can be answered by email at DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or by calling SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339).
Paid Time Off for Vaccines
On Friday, the NYS Legislature delivered to the governor a bill that would provide every public and private employee in the state paid time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The bill is effective immediately upon signing and expires December 31, 2022.

All private - and most public - employers must provide a paid leave of absence for a sufficient period, not to exceed four hours per vaccine injection. This leave shall be provided at the employee’s regular rate of pay and shall not be charged against any other leave such employee is otherwise entitled to, including paid sick leave as required under NYS’s new paid sick leave law or leave required under any collective bargaining agreement. For those with collective bargaining agreements, leave must be provided unless the employee receives a greater number of hours pursuant to the agreement. 
Unshackle Upstate now Upstate United
For more than a decade, Unshackle Upstate has been recognized as a strong voice for Upstate taxpayers and employers. By uniting together, UU and its partners have scored major victories including defeating a 45% Thruway toll hike, enacting a 2% property tax cap and securing sensible reforms to New York’s Workers Compensation program.

What started as a simple public awareness campaign has evolved into a strong coalition supported by several Upstate organizations and countless taxpayers. After careful consideration and thoughtful deliberation, UU’s leaders have decided to change the name of the organization.

Starting on March 15th, we became Upstate United. This new name maintains the well-known “UU” moniker and reflects our true mission. We are united in our efforts to advocate for a better business climate, private-sector job growth, vibrant Upstate communities and a strong Upstate economy. We are united to make Upstate New York a place where people from all walks of life can grow and succeed. And while each Upstate region has its own unique traits and needs, we are united for the future of the entire Upstate region.
We understand the need for quality safety training for our business community and their employees. That is why the North Country Chamber of Commerce is hosting a full year of virtual safety seminars for FREE!
March and April classes are below - click the link to register.
Virtual Recordkeeping OSHA Log 300 Safety Training
  • March 30, 2021
  • 8am-9am
  • No Charge
  • Speaker: John Ferraro, Landrock Consulting

Electrical Safety for "Unqualified" Non-Electrical Workers
  • April 8, 2021
  • 8am-12pm
  • No Charge
  • Speaker: Lee Marchessault, Workplace Safety Solutions

10 Hour OSHA Construction OSHA 29 CFR 1926 Day 1
  • April 20-21
  • 8am-1:30pm
  • No Charge
  • Speaker: Phil Hamel, Adirondack Safety and Environmental Services

For more information visit northcountrychamber.com or contact Becky at beckym@northcountrychamber.com.
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.
Today's Dose is Generously Supported By:
  • NYS Vaccination Updates: Official Site for making an appointment to get the COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • Forward NY: Official State Website for opening procedures and guidelines.
  • NYS Travel Advisory: Stay up to date on the latest NYS Travel Advisory Updates.
  • 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.
  • SCORE: Small business owners are resilient and can power through this challenging time, with SCORE by their side.
Have Questions? We're here to help!

North Country Chamber of Commerce