Tuesday May 12, 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!
While we await a green light from New York State to begin Phase One of re-opening in the North Country -- hopefully coming any day now -- we have additional information on the actual business re-opening process:

  • First, there is now a website for the NY FORWARD process where new guidelines and information will be made available in the coming days and weeks.

  • A template for individual business Health & Safety Plans will be posted in a matter of days. All businesses and employers will be asked to use this template to create a Health & Safety Plan for their business, following state requirements and guidelines which will also be posted soon. Each business will acknowledge that they have familiarized themselves with the guidelines as part of their plan. Their plan, when completed, must be retained on site and be available for inspection and referral.

  • Construction sites must have such a plan for each site where work is carried out.

  • There will be a compliance process spelled out soon, likely including a regional hotline process for the reporting of possible violations of state guidelines.

The types of businesses which will be allowed to re-open during Phase One, once the North Country qualifies, are listed below.

We will continue to report on the availability of additional information as it is available. IN THE MEANTIME, ALL BUSINESSES ARE ENCOURAGED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR UPCOMING "BACK TO BUSINESS & SAFETY TRAINING WEBINARS as an important step in preparing to complete the required Health & Safety Plan for their operation.
The Governor’s Office has published “NY Forward: A Guide to Reopening New York & Building Back Better.” The guide details the State’s plans to reopen the economy.
Employee Retention Tax Credit
While much of the information on the CARES Act has focused on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) , another provision in the Act created a new Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) which may be of interest to some businesses and employers.
The ERTC is a fully refundable tax credit, designed to help businesses of all sizes keep their employees on payroll when they have been forced to close, partially close, or are experiencing significant revenue loss as a result of COVID-19. While employers who have received a PPP loan are not eligible to claim the ERTC, it may be an option for some businesses who have been unable to obtain or have decided not to apply for the PPP.
As always, before you take any action or complete and submit any tax forms or documents, we strongly advise that you consult with your accountant or attorney. 
For information on the ERTC including who is eligible, how to claim this tax credit, and more – click here. *link the word “here” to the section on our website that goes into the ERTC. 
Clarkson’s President Collins Named to State’s Education Advisory Council
Clarkson University President Anthony G. Collins is among a group of education leaders from across the state named to New York’s "Reimagine Education" Advisory Council.

Aimed at preparing school districts and higher education institutions for reopening once directed by the state. The advisory council is comprised of a total of 19 educators, administrators and parents, and chaired by SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras.

“The creation of this new council is reflective of Gov. Cuomo’s thoughtful and forward-thinking leadership throughout this crisis,” Mr. Collins said. “While all sectors of the economy are being challenged to look beyond the status quo before COVID-19, education must be at the forefront of innovation in preparing students and supporting our communities to be future-ready.”

Seema Rivera, a STEM Education assistant professor at Clarkson’s Capital Region Campus and board member for Guilderland Central School District, has also been named to the council.
Nova Bus Update: What They are Doing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
L ola Miller, Health, Safety and Enviroment Manger at Nova Bus, updated the community during last week's Clinton County Health Department briefing on how they are handling operations during this pandemic.

Nova Bus is also offering a number of new products to its customers to enhance safety, cleanliness and security onboard its public transportation vehicles, as operations gradually resume across several of its sites.
Community Bank has donated $45,000 to support local communities during this unprecedented time. The bank has celebrated National Good Neighbor Day Sept. 28 over the last few years by making donations of time and money to local nonprofits. In response to the impact COVID-19 has made on local nonprofits, Community Bank is paying it forward and celebrating Good Neighbor Day early this year.

The bank has made monetary donations to local nonprofits, helping to ensure that they can continue to support community members throughout the bank’s four-state footprint –– New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Massachusetts.

“At Community Bank we are committed to facing these challenging times together and we are dedicated to ensuring we help those in need,” president and CEO Mark Tryniski said. “We are honored to give back to the communities we serve, work and live in, by supporting our neighbors.”

Each branch chose an organization to donate to, based on specific needs in their community. In the Adirondack region, Community Bank supported a variety of nonprofits including Johnsburg Emergency Squad in North Creek, Newcomb Volunteer Fire Department, Hamilton County Community Action in Indian Lake, Fort Covington Helping Hands and the Malone Adult Center.

“Thank you to all of our local nonprofits who continue to modify their services in order to meet the needs of our neighbors in an encouraging and safe way,” Tryniski said.
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.
  • 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.

  • 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