Monday July 20, 2020
Hello Chamber Members and Partners,

Here are the latest updates and resources for businesses and employees during this uncertain time.

Send us any questions or updates you may have. We are here to help provide information, connect the dots and assure those in the North Country that we will get through this together.

Onward and Be Well!
The North Country Chamber of Commerce enthusiastically welcomes the recent announcement that Assemblyman Billy Jones has been appointed Co-Chair of the Canada-U.S. Relations Committee for the Council of State Governments, Eastern Regional Conference.

"As co-chair of the Canada-U.S. Relations Committee for the CSG East, I look forward to working with my regional colleagues on key policy initiatives to enhance cooperation on issues of mutual concern with Canada, particularly on trade, transportation and the effective management of our shared border", states Assemblyman Jones. "Working with my legislative colleagues in the U.S. Northeast and Eastern Canada gives me and my committee members a unique networking opportunity to share ideas and insights and bring best practices and resources to my constituents."

The Chamber sees this as a real opportunity for the North Country, and an appropriate recognition of Billy's knowledge of and commitment to U.S.-Canada relations. The Eastern Council includes both U.S. states and Canadian provinces, including Quebec, and has long been not only a valuable forum for building relationships but a source of policy development. We thank Billy for his continuing dedication to our region's bi-national interests, which have clearly earned the respect of his colleagues, and we know his leadership in this position will help to bring new forms of collaboration and shared benefit.
The U.S. and Canadian governments have announced, as expected, that they have agreed to another thirty day extension of existing border crossing restrictions, due to expire on July 21st, but now extended until August 21st.

The following statement is issued by Garry Douglas, President and CEO of the North Country Chamber of Commerce in response to this latest action:

"There was every reason at this point to expect at least another thirty day extension of the existing border crossing restrictions as of July 21. The Canadian public is overwhelmingly opposed to any relaxation of the current restrictions in the face of the rising infection rates in so many states. Indeed, the Canadian government had already extended through the end of August its unilateral fourteen day quarantine requirement for any returning Canadian other than those allowed to cross back and force as essential.

"We remain greatly disappointed, however, at the continued failure of the two federal governments to provide some sense of the eventual pathway forward. Through 29 Members of Congress led by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman Brian Higgins and partner groups in both countries, we have continued to call, not for immediate reopening, but for some decision making framework that can guide eventual if gradual reopening steps, and we will continue to call for such. We will also continue to ask both governments to actively assess interim possibilities for some potentially modest enhancements to the definition of allowed essential border crossers. These suggestions include family members, owners of property including boats within 50 or 100 miles of the border, and additional business related travel, among examples.

"We are now approaching four months of unnatural separation between American and Canadian neighbors, risking the extremely abnormal seeming almost normal. We must move the dialogue and policy making beyond blanket extensions every thirty days."
Are you wearing a mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19? Here are a few tips from the University of Vermont Health Network to make sure you are using it properly.
If your company took advantage of a grace period to defer payment on your group health insurance premiums, all premiums that were deferred are due at the end of that grace period. If payment in full for all of the months is not submitted, the policy will cancel.

Reach out to your broker or your insurance carrier if you need assistance regarding your payments. Please see the notice from CDPHP regarding this situation below:
CDPHP understands that some small groups may have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Throughout the pandemic, we have reached out to small groups with open account balances in an attempt to work with them during this unprecedented time.

Some groups have not responded to our outreach thus far.

We will send a final notice letter and email to these small groups on Monday, July 20. We will also reach out by phone.

These accounts will be terminated retroactive to June 2, 2020 if we do not receive a response by July 28, 2020.

Your CDPHP account representative will reach out to you directly beginning today if you have a small group that may be impacted.
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.

  • 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.
Have Questions? We're here to help!

North Country Chamber of Commerce