Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Happy Thanksgiving from the North Country Chamber of Commerce
We hope that you, your co-workers and family are staying safe during this unprecedented times. We want to take a moment and thank you for your continued support and trust in the North Country Chamber this year. We pledge to continue to be your go to resource for accurate and easy to digest information. And don't forget to reach out if you have questions, we are here!

Quick programming note, there will be no "Today's Dose" Thursday as our staff will be enjoying their Thanksgiving - safely!

We are thankful for each of you and we hope you have a wonderful and safe thanksgiving.

Garry, Sue, Kristy, Joel, Lisa Susan, Alyssa, Adriana, Stacey, Becky and Lynn (YOUR Chamber team)
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has released county sales tax figures for October and for the year to date: January-October. In both cases, area receipts are down in most counties compared with 2019 but by substantially less than the double digit declines seen and expected as the pandemic began last spring.

For the single month of October 2020 compared with October 2019, Clinton County sales tax receipts were down 4.4%, Essex County was down 9.5%, Franklin was down 6.3% and Warren was down 5.5%. Hamilton County was up 4.2%.

For the period of January-October 2020 compared to the same 10 month period in 2019, Clinton County is down 2.9%; Essex is down 2.5%; Franklin is up 5.1%; Hamilton is down 4% and Warren is down 4.3%
Unemployment Insurance Tax Rates for 2021
Governor Cuomo is evaluating measures to reduce unemployment tax increases for employers in 2021, but has yet to issue a final decision. 

Under New York’s UI law, employer-specific tax rates are based on two factors – the employer’s “experience rating” and the balance in the state’s UI account. Employers with layoffs, including COVID-related layoffs, would normally see a negative impact on their experience ratings, and a relatively higher state UI tax rate as a result.

However, under Executive Order 202.45, Governor Cuomo gave the Labor Department authority to suspend application of experience ratings charges effective March 9, 2020, so that employer-specific UI tax rates for 2021 would not be impacted by COVID-related layoffs.

The Commissioner has yet to effectuate that change, but has until the end of the calendar year to do so. Even with this relief, employers could see per-employee UI taxes increase by $200 or more for 2021; without the experience rating relief, these increases will be considerably higher.
Stefanik Statement on Further Extension of Northern Border Travel Restrictions
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has released the below statement following the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement that the non-essential travel restrictions along the U.S. – Canada border have been extended through December 21st, 2020.

“Following Acting Secretary Wolf’s statement today, I once again remain committed to working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Canadian government to establish a comprehensive plan to safely reopen the border,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “DHS is working closely with both the Canadian and Mexican governments to ensure that, in the meantime, essential trade and travel still continues. I understand the importance of the U.S.-Canadian economic partnership and its role within our North Country communities. I will continue to communicate with our local stakeholders, elected officials, and with my colleagues to restore cross-border travel.”
WEBINAR: What's Next: Restaurant COVID Recovery
Covid-19 Impact Update - the future of restaurant spaces and contactless technology

Join Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) and Andrew Carroll, Relationship Manager for Heartland Payment Systems as they share clever solutions implemented by restauranteurs in the midst of COVID-19, and talk about “contactless” technology and the future of restaurants.
Kristy Kennedy, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at the North Country Chamber of Commerce will also join the panel to talk about the Chamber's "#shoplocaldinelocal" marketing campaign.

  • Date: December 2nd
  • Time: 9am
Franklin County - Funding Available
Franklin County Economic Development Corp. (FCEDC), formerly the Franklin County Local Development Corporation, is the county's economic development organization, and as of 2020, its destination management organization. Tourism is one of the region's largest industries and we have set out to do tourism differently, by integrating it more fully into broader economic development efforts. 

It is a priority to leverage occupancy tax revenues and the marketing efforts of tourism-related businesses to better promote our region as a destination. 

One way we have to do that is through our Destination Cooperative Marketing Program (DCMP). The DCMP is designed to offer local tourism-related businesses financial support to undertake independently developed marketing efforts.

Information about this program, including guidelines, application form, and submission instructions is available here.

Please note the upcoming deadlines:
  • November 30, 2020 Large Campaign Category
  • January 30, 2021 Small Campaign Category
An Important Message from Supervisor Cashman
  • 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.

  • SCORE: Small business owners are resilient and can power through this challenging time, with SCORE by their side.
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