Wednesday March 18, 2020
Hello Chamber Members and Partners,

Here are the latest updates and resources for businesses and employees during this uncertain time including information on unemployment insurance (who to call and new regulations), a webinar with Jacqueline Kelleher for employers, and new information on the Canadian border.

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 Upward!
OneWorkSource Centers in the North Country have closed, but if you need further assistance with your unemployment insurance or have any questions, staff is available by phone:

  • Clinton: 518-561-0430
  • Franklin: 518-481-5755
  • Essex: 518-873-3207
  • Hamilton: 518-648-6131

Here are a few things you should know about the current state of the NYS Unemployment Insurance system:

  • They have waived the 7-day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines.

  • Filing a new Unemployment Insurance claim? The day you should file is now based on the first letter of your last name. For last names starting with A - F, file on Monday. For last names starting with G - N, file on Tuesday. For last names starting with O - Z, file on Wednesday. If you missed your filing day, file on Thursday or Friday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim; all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.  
  • You must file online (click here) or over the phone (Telephone Claim Center: 1-888-209-8124 open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday - Friday)

For more information visit the NYS Unemployment Insurance website below.
Companies are being bombarded with new rules, rumors and risks. Get up to the minute insight on what Employers need to do now in these unprecedented times.

Join Jacqueline Kelleher, Esq in a webinar on Friday March 20, 2020 from 11am-12:30pm . She will share recent developments and current guidance to help our business community make informed decisions.

The North Country Chamber of Commerce is responding to joint U.S.-Canadian plans to close the northern border to non-essential travel. A joint announcement of a final agreement is expected in 24 to 48 hours.

We have been anticipating this in recent days and have been in an active dialogue with the U.S. government through Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and with the Canadian Government through their Consulate General in New York. We welcome clear indications from both governments that neither of them wishes to interrupt the massive daily trading relationship, so we are expecting that trucking activity will continue, preserving the vital cross border supply chains for North Country manufacturers. We are also assured that all forms of reasonable essential travel will be allowed to continue. We have asked for explicit recognition of the hundreds of nurses and physicians from Canada who commute daily to North Country hospitals, clinics and medical practices. These are about as essential as you can get. And we have today received desitred assurances. We know there are conversations regarding other daily matters as well such as emergency services cross border.

The impact on cross border recreation and shopping is already largely here, and the Chamber is working actively and aggressively to provide member businesses across the region with daily information updates, guidance and upcoming webinars on relevant topics. All of this is being posted to our website at .

MTL Cool is a family business that specializes in manufacturing refrigerators for commercial needs. They design, manufacture, and distribute units that are used across North America.

Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, they are doing everything possible and putting all best practices into place to ensure the safety of their employees and continued uninterrupted services for their customers.

Have a story to share about how your business is adjusting to this ever changing environment? We'd love to hear it!

Remember that we have several pages on with resources and information to help your business navigate employees questions, write pandemic guidelines and stay on the front line of this growing problem. It also has several links to what is happening community wide during this challenging time.
The North Country Chamber of Commerce is hosting a conversation with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, State Senator Betty Little, and Assemblyman Billy Jones this Friday, March 20, 2020 from 5:30-6:30 PM . Our elected officials will be updating us on our current environment and what the Federal and State Governments are doing to address the situation. 

More information will be available soon!
Have Questions? We're here to help!

North Country Chamber of Commerce