Wednesday August 26, 2020
Here are the latest updates and resources for businesses and employees during this uncertain time. - Onward and Be Well!
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced yesterday that five states—Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Maryland and Montana—have been removed from New York State's COVID-19 travel advisory. Guam has been added.

States and Areas Added:
  • Guam

States Removed:
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Montana
Chancellor Malatras and SUNY Plattsburgh President Enyedi Announce Launch of Pooled Surveillance Testing for COVID-19
State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras today joined SUNY Plattsburgh President Alexander Enyedi to announce the launch of pooled surveillance testing for COVID-19 on the Plattsburgh campus.

This aggressive testing method – developed at SUNY Upstate Medical University and approved by the New York State Department of Health – greatly expands the college’s COVID-19 testing capacity. SUNY Plattsburgh will schedule testing of all students on campus.

Chancellor Malatras also reviewed SUNY Plattsburgh’s reopening plan with President Enyedi and Student Association President Rudaba Abmed, which was approved by SUNY earlier this summer, and talked with students about the upcoming semester and the importance of COVID-19 safety precautions.

"As SUNY Plattsburgh resumes in-person classes this week, it is crucial that we have the most advanced and aggressive testing program at our disposal in place," said Chancellor Malatras. "By launching pooled surveillance testing, we can run up to 25 samples as part of one test, giving SUNY Plattsburgh the ability to identify, trace, isolate, and treat cases much faster and ensure the safety of our students—which is always our number one priority. I want to thank SUNY Plattsburgh President Enyedi for this leadership in restarting his campus safely. By adopting this advanced testing protocol – which was developed at SUNY Upstate Medical University with the help of the public and private sectors – we are harnessing strategic partnerships and scaling system-wide ingenuity and innovation for the benefit of our students’ safety, health, and wellbeing."
New York State UI Payments
At the August 13 joint Senate and Assembly hearing on the impact of COVID on New York workers, Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon reported that New York had already made about $40 billion in unemployment insurance payments, with temporary, federally-funded benefits under the CARES Act accounting for three-quarters of that amount. The remaining $10 billion was paid as “regular” unemployment insurance benefits provided under state law, and currently capped at $504 per week. These state benefits are 100 percent financed by state payroll taxes on New York employers. But as claims costs have increased to unprecedented levels, exceeding funds in the state’s UI account, New York has already had to take $5 billion in advances from the federal UI trust fund. This, and any additional advances, are repaid through increased state and federal employer taxes, meaning that New York State employers will see increased UI taxes in 2021 and beyond.
We have prepared an overview of the state’s unemployment insurance program, available here, that addresses federal and state UI taxes, recent federal actions, the impact on increased claims on employer costs, pending federal and state legislation, and related issues.
Our thanks to Chamber member SARATOGA EAGLE SALES & SERVICE, beverage distributors, for their donation of 480 gallons of hand sanitizer to SUNY PLATTSBURGH to assist with the college's safe re-opening. The Chamber was happy to facilitate the connection.

"On behalf of the students and staff at SUNY Plattsburgh, I want to thank John Rogan and Saratoga Eagle for their generous donation," said Alexander Enyedi, SUNY Plattsburgh President. "During these challenging times it takes the entire community working together to ensure the safety of everyone. This gift is a great example of such a collaboration."
Cornell Cooperative Extension - Hospitality Webcasts
Cornell Cooperative Extension invites you to join the eCornell Team for two upcoming live webcasts with Cornell faculty and industry experts. These events are free and open to all! Please click on the blue link, ‘Register Now,’ underneath each webinar title to find more information about each webinar and to register.

Recovery by the Numbers: What to Expect in the Lodging Industry
  • Tuesday, September 15, 2020
  • 11:30am 

Innovating for a Post-Pandemic Future: Challenges and Opportunities in the Hospitality Industry
  • Tuesday, September 22, 2020
  • 12pm ET


  • 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.
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