Thursday May 7, 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!
"NEW YORK FORWARD" REOPENING ADVISORY BOARD
Garry Douglas, President and CEO of the North Country Chamber of Commerce , and James McKenna, President and CEO of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) have been pleased to accept appointment to the NEW YORK FORWARD Reopening Advisory Board by Governor Andrew Cuomo. They join Dr. Ty Stone, President of Jefferson Community College, as members from the North Country region.

The statewide board has been created to help guide the re-opening and rebuilding strategy for New York State as it recovers from the COVID-19 public health emergency. The goal is to safely resume public and private sector industries through a region-based, industry-specific, and data-driven approach that allows people to get back to work without triggering widespread transmission of the virus, which could endanger lives and overwhelm the healthcare system.
   
"I thank the Governor for the opportunity to participate in this important process," states Douglas, "and to be a part of the statewide team of advisors from various sectors and regions that the Governor has brought together."

"The North Country is the largest geographic region of New York State," notes McKenna. "Having Dr. Stone, Garry Douglas and myself on this Advisory Board guarantees that all areas and industries of our region will be represented, which will ensure our re-opening is following the protocols as identified by the Governor and in synergy with the entire state."
NYS DOL Announces Weekly Certifications Can Be Completed Online or Over the Phone
The New York State Department of Labor announced a new program to inform New Yorkers who have applied for unemployment that Federal law requires them to submit a certification every week to receive their benefits and educate New Yorkers about how to complete that certification.

Under, federal law, every American receiving unemployment insurance benefits, including traditional unemployment insurance and the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, is required to submit a weekly certification to claim their benefits.

When to certify:
  • New Yorkers must submit their certification for a given week on the last day of that week (Sunday) through the following Saturday. This is called your “claim window.”
  • Any certification made on a Sunday is for the week ending that day.

How to certify:
  • New Yorkers are encouraged to certify online, which is the easiest and fastest way to certify, at labor.ny.gov/signin
  • Enter your NY.gov username and password.
  • Click the “Unemployment Services” button on the My Online Services page.
  • Then click “Claim Weekly Benefits” and follow the instructions.
  • If you cannot certify online, you can certify via an automated phone system, by calling 1.888.581.5812 (for traditional unemployment insurance) or 1.833.324.0366 (for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance).
SBA Update on the Paycheck Protection Program
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that as of Tuesday, May 5 th , the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) still had nearly $130 billion remaining in available funding. The SBA is encouraging all eligible businesses who are interested in applying to do so as soon as possible.

The SBA and Treasury have also made a number of updates to their “Frequently Asked Questions for Lenders and Borrowers” document. We encourage you to read this FAQ and check it frequently as it updated daily.

Lastly, we know many of you have inquired about specifics on how PPP loans will qualify for forgiveness and how those calculations will be made. The official guidance from the SBA and Treasury regarding PPP loan forgiveness procedures has not yet been released. As soon as this guidance is published, we will distribute it promptly via our Daily Dose E-Newsletter and our website.

For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program, click here.

To find an SBA approved local lender, click here.
DEC and NYS Parks Campgrounds will be Closed for Memorial Day Weekend
While Department of Environmental Conservation is encouraging persons to get outdoors during the  coronavirus  pandemic it should be noted that DEC and NYS Parks campgrounds will not be open Memorial Day weekend.

According to the DEC website : “All state-operated campgrounds, cabins, pavilions, and cottages are closed to visitation through May 31. All visitors with reservations will be issued a full refund.” The Memorial Day weekend is May 23-25.

For those with cottage reservations at these state facilities, there is a possibility the stay restriction will be lifted prior to June 1.

Meanwhile, the state has suspended all new camping, cabin and cottage reservations for the 2020 season until further notice.
Qualified employees and employers are important to every successful economy. Now more than ever, the  North Country Chamber of Commerce   realizes how important it is to still give our member businesses the opportunity to showcase their job openings to prospective employees, as well as to give potential employees the resources they need to thrive.

So in place of our annual, in-person job fair, the Chamber will be doing a three week virtual job fair. This page will be a one stop resource for both potential employers and employees to connect. Our   Now Hiring/Virtual Job Fair Page lists business's job openings and application information for a smooth and easy process.

Employers:
 
  • Businesses will also be featured in social media posts on the North Country Chamber of Commerce's social media platforms, for added quality exposure.
  • To have your company and your job openings included in the Virtual Job Fair, please complete the form below and return it to  Becky

Employees:

  • If you are currently looking for a career or new opportunity please visit our Virtual Job Fair page where we have a comprehensive list of who is hiring as well as information on how to apply.
The home page of the Chamber's website is now your go to resource for all things Coronavirus related. From information to help your business, health insurance, employee guidelines, restaurant offerings and CDC resources, our website will hopefully make things a bit easier for you during this challenging time.
QUICK LINKS:
  • 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.


  • CARES Act Summarized: The President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Our team has done their best to summarize the bill and break it down to a digestible document.⁠



  • 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.

  • How to Help: If you are looking for a way to help the North Country, we have created an ever growing list of needs in our community. And if you are a non-profit, health care organization or a business helping those in need, email us with your needs, contact information and we will be happy to add you to our growing list.

  • 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
518.563.1000