Monday August 24, 2020
Here are the latest updates and resources for businesses and employees during this uncertain time. - Onward and Be Well!
The North Country Chamber of Commerce was pleased to host a visit by U.S. Senator/Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer to meet with some of our members to discuss how the PPP program has worked and how important it would be if many North Country small businesses could obtain a second round of support this fall. The session took place at Rulfs Orchard in Peru. The Senator pledged his continued support for a new federal COVID relief bill that includes another such round of PPP. We thank the Senator for the visit and discussion and will be staying in touch with him on this major pending matter. 
Basics of Employment Law
Keeping up with the latest regulations and workplace issues is a challenging task for employers. 

This class is a must for anyone who wishes to be a more effective manager by learning about key laws and employment areas where managers must be vigilant.  While this course does NOT render legal advice or serve as a replacement for knowing and understanding the employment laws that apply to your business, it will offer concrete examples of how various laws apply in the workplace, and will provide information on:

  • 12 key employment laws
  • The difference between discrimination, harassment, and bullying
  • New York State’s Sexual Harassment Prevention Law
  • Responsibilities of managers
  • Wage and hour cautions
  • Best practices regarding terminations

Date: August 25, 2020
Time: 11:00AM

Questions for Sharon will be accepted prior to the class. Please submit your questions when registering or sent them via email to!
Battle of Plattsburgh 2020
In spite of closures and cancelations, dedicated volunteers, some involved in the original formation of the commemorative event in 1997, have been on the frontlines of adapting and preserving this iconic piece of local and national history during pandemic times.

The goal of this year’s event, amidst the pandemic, is to safely provide both entertainment and education surrounding the battle and its significance, both locally and nationally.

Newly-filmed video interviews with reenactors will be viewable online.

In-person highlights will include a performance by Stan Ransom, former Plattsburgh Public Library Director and long-time BOP supporter, at the city’s “Curbside at Harborside” music series on Sept. 12.

A historical marker activity will encourage locals to independently travel throughout the surrounding communities in search of signs signifying locations of significant events or people of the battle’s time period, following the Boy Scouts History Trail Map.
The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort New Guest Experience - Reopening August 31st!
Discover & Deliver: Vaccine and Therapeutic Candidates for Coronavirus Rapidly Accelerating
It’s been just over five months since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. While that may feel like an eternity for some, it’s important to remember how quickly the science has progressed towards a COVID-19 vaccine in a short period of time.

Just 3 months ago in mid-May, there were only 8 vaccines in the clinical stage of development. By early July, that number more than doubled to 17. Now, as our summer of social distancing draws to a close, the WHO reports there are 29 vaccines undergoing clinical trials, with another 138 in the pre-clinical stage of evaluation.

While that may not feel fast enough for many, in the scientific world, COVID-19-related innovation is taking place in the blink of an eye.

What’s new: As the science continues to evolve rapidly, a number of vaccine candidates have been in the news in recent days.

  • The German biotech company, CureVac, is currently conducting early-stage clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The company’s stock skyrocketed on Friday following their introduction on the Nasdaq, given the promise the vaccine may hold. While full clinical trial data will not be available until September or October, on Monday the company moved forward to register the mRNA vaccine candidate for a Phase 2 trial.
  • Similarly, Novavax – one of the companies who received support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – announced the start of a Phase 2b trial in South Africa. The trial is notable because it will test the vaccine not just in healthy volunteers, but also in HIV positive individuals, which speaks to the scientific community’s recognition that vaccines must be tested in all segments of the population who could be adversely impacted by the disease.

What’s next: Given the unparalleled scientific progress to combat coronavirus since the global pandemic began five months ago, it begs the question: what will the next five months of scientific advances hold?

With the world’s most innovative companies, the brightest scientific minds, and the leading universities on the case, the Chamber is hopeful we may soon have an effective vaccine to defeat COVID-19.

–Jonathan Weinberger, Executive Vice President, Global Innovation Policy Center
Spike in Personal Savings Could Help Economic Rebound

The economic fallout from the pandemic has caused many unusual economic data points. The personal savings rate is one of them. Savings increased more than 350% from a $1.4 trillion annual rate in February to $6.3 trillion in April and has remained significantly elevated in May and June.

Why? The savings come from two sources:
  • First, the $1,200 government payments to individuals and families and the extra $600 a week in extra unemployment benefits. Those two sources boosted incomes considerably, and recipients of those funds have saved some of the money.
  • Second, it has been harder to spend during the pandemic than in normal times. That has caused consumers to delay purchases they otherwise would have made.

The savings spike is already abating as the economy normalizes and government support wanes, but the saved money will have ramifications for the economy in the coming months.

The expiration of government support will make it harder for consumers to spend at their recent levels. However, the stockpile of savings will lessen that negative impact as consumers spend the money they have saved recently. That should help support the rebound in consumption necessary for reviving the economy.

–Curtis Dubay, Senior Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

  • 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