Tuesday April 6, 2021
Schumer: Restaurant Relief Grants Start in 3 Weeks
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Tuesday a $28.6 billion grant program Congress created to boost struggling restaurants will start serving clients in about three weeks.

Throughout the country, food service and hospitality businesses — like restaurants, bars and hotels — have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic as people were forced to stay home, and businesses closed to the public. Across a region that includes New York state, northern New Jersey and Fairfield County, Conn., leisure and hospitality businesses lost the most jobs — more than 750,000 — from February to April 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported. About 50 percent of those jobs had returned as of October.

In mid-March, restaurants in New York were able to start operating at 75 percent capacity, up from 50 percent.

What we Know:
The American Rescue Plan Act created the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) a new $28.6 billion grant program, to be administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). An eligible business may receive a tax-free federal grant equal to the amount of its pandemic-related revenue loss.

Of the $28.6 billion, $5 billion is set aside for restaurants and food/drinking establishments that had less than $500,000 of revenue in 2019.

Most restaurants and bars that lost revenue in 2020 compared to 2019 will be eligible to apply for RRF grants.
  • Eligible: Restaurant, food stand, food truck, food cart, caterer, saloon, inn, tavern, bar, lounge, brewpub, tasting room, taproom, licensed facility or premise of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products, or other similar place of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink.

  • Ineligible: Publicly traded companies; owners that operate more than 20 restaurants/bars; restaurants/bars owned by a state or local government.

Stay Tuned: The North Country Chamber of Commerce will be hosting an informational webinar shortly about this grant opportunity.
WEBINAR: An Update on The COVID-19 Vaccine and the North Country
Did you miss yesterday's webinar, "An Update on the COVID -19 Vaccine in the North Country" or would you like to rewatch it. We have you covered a recording is below.

Panelist included:
  • Dr. Wouter Rietsema - UVM - CVPH
  • Dr. Tracey Henderson - Adirondack Health
  • Dr. Mona Chitre - Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
  • Ruth-Ellen Van Arnam - Kinney Drugs
  • Margaret Searing, RN - Clinton County Health Department

Topics included:
  • Side effects
  • What is the different between the vaccines
  • Children, tweens and teens when it comes to the vaccines
  • and much more!
MVP Health Care and The University of Vermont Health Network to Co-Create Innovative Health Plan to Transform Care for Older Adults
MVP Health Care and The University of Vermont Health Network announce the launch of a partnership between two trusted local non-profit health care organizations to offer a patient-focused, physician-designed Medicare Advantage health insurance plan to better meet the distinct needs of residents of Vermont and northern New York. Services for this plan is expected to begin on January 1, 2022.

“With a shared mission of creating innovative solutions and sustaining healthy communities, MVP Health Care and the UVM Health Network will enthusiastically co-create a health plan that supports stronger relationships between members and physicians, and will positively impact the communities we serve,” said MVP Health Care’s President and CEO, Christopher Del Vecchio. “By reinforcing vital provider relationships, focusing on improving the lives of people in our communities, and leaning on the patient-centered missions of our two organizations, we will make health insurance more convenient, more supportive and more personal.”

MVP Health Care and the UVM Health Network plan to announce details of this innovative Medicare Advantage insurance plan during this fall’s annual enrollment period. Medicare Advantage plans can offer coverage for services that Original Medicare does not, such as vision, hearing or dental, and valuable well-being benefits. These plans are rapidly growing in popularity, with enrollment in Medicare Advantage doubling over the past decade, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“We realize our patients have choices when it comes to Medicare Advantage plans. Our intent is to give them a better option that is tailored to their health care needs by offering a unique plan shaped by our experienced, local providers,” said John R. Brumsted, MD, UVM Health Network President and CEO. “Driven by our shared non-profit values and commitment to innovation, MVP Health Care and the UVM Health Network are partnering to provide care in a way that has the greatest positive impact on the health of our older adults and their communities.”
This new partnership, and the resulting Medicare Advantage plan, will align directly with existing health care reform efforts that shift the focus to wellness as much as illness while controlling costs. By complementing and amplifying those efforts, including the work of the All Payer Model in Vermont and payment reform in New York, this Medicare Advantage plan will represent a coordinated, carefully focused, provider-led investment in the health and well-being of our Medicare-eligible residents.
Reimagine, Rebuild and Renew New York
Governor Cuomo presented highlights of the FY 2022 Enacted Budget, which focuses on COVID-19 management, COVID-19 relief and rebuilding NY in the wake of the ongoing pandemic.
The NY SHIELD Act went into effect 1 year ago, mandating any business holding data on any NY state resident to comply with specific security requirements. Enforcement of the law is expected to increase in 2021.

Download Your Guide to NY SHIELD Compliance below.
**This is paid content sponsored by Twinstate Technologies**
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