Friday May 29, 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 Phase Two reopening had been expected to begin as soon as today in the North Country and several other regions, Governor Cuomo has delayed the start of Phase Two pending a review and assessment by health experts assisting the state. While this is unexpected and disappointing, it is expected that we will hear further clarification today. As soon as this occurs, we will distribute an update.

In the meantime, the State has identified the sectors of business included in Phase Two and has posted the awaited DETAILED GUIDELINES and SAFETY PLAN TEMPLATES for most of these sectors. Included in Phase Two when it begins will be:

  • All Office Based Jobs
  • Real Estate Services
  • In-Store Retail
  • Vehicle Sales, Leases and Rentals
  • Retail Rental, Repair and Cleaning
  • Commercial Building Management

Also included are LIMITED BARBERSHOP AND HAIR SALON SERVICES , though these Guidelines are not yet posted.

While we await confirmation of the timing for beginning Phase Two, we encourage these categories of business to continue preparations including attesting to the appropriate Guidelines where possible and developing their required Safety Plans. Our Safety Webinar for HAIR SALONS & BARBER SHOPS will proceed today at 1:00 and a training session for OFFICES and CAMPGROUNDS are now set for June 3 - Registration forthcoming!

We will share further news and updates as they develop.
Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order Authorizing Businesses to Deny Entry to Individuals Not Wearing Masks or Face-coverings
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued an Executive Order authorizing businesses to deny entry to individuals who do not wear masks or face-coverings.

The Executive Order builds on the state's ongoing efforts to protect New Yorkers and slow the spread.

Governor Cuomo also announced a partnership with Rosie Perez and Chris Rock, who will help New York State build communication and education on the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing and the availability of testing and healthcare in the state.
U.S. House Passes Legislation Providing PPP Flexibility
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik voted yesterday in favor of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, bipartisan legislation that she cosponsors. This legislation would provide flexibility for small businesses who have utilized PPP loans. Specifically, this legislation extends the period businesses can utilize funds and receive forgiveness to 24 weeks, allows a greater portion of the loan to be utilized on non-payroll expenses, ensures access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans, and provides flexibility on employment level requirements and loan maturity.

“I have been an outspoken supporter of the PPP loans that have provided immediate relief to our small businesses throughout the last several months,” said Congresswoman Stefanik .  “I have worked with the SBA and U.S. Treasury directly to provide clarity and make changes to this program, and I am fully supportive of the new flexibilities that this bill will provide. Our small businesses are the backbone of the North Country economy, and I will continue to advocate for solutions and support for them as they look to reopen and recover from this public health crisis.”
A Message From NYS about Contract Tracing
New York State has partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Vital Strategies to create the NYS Contact Tracing Program, a nation-leading initiative to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and make it safer to begin to return to normal again.

Contact Tracers work with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to identify people they have had contact with and let them know they may have been exposed to the disease. 

If you get a call from “NYS Contact Tracing” (518-387-9993), PLEASE answer the phone. Answering the phone will keep your loved ones and community safe.
JCEO and the USDA Farmers to Families Food Program will be Hosting a Free Drive-thru Milk and Produce Pick-up
JCEO, the USDA Farmers to Families Food Program, will be hosting free  drive-thru milk and produce pick-up in Clinton County  on Sunday, May 31 from 9am-12pm at the Plattsburgh State Fieldhouse.

There will be 1500 dairy boxes weighing 13 pounds including sour cream, cottage cheese, string cheese, yogurt, and milk.

There will be 1500 produce boxes weighing 20 pounds including iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, carrots, onions, potatoes, oranges, and apples.

The West entrance to the Plattsburgh State Fieldhouse closest to Stewart's on Rugar St. will be where you enter- look for signs, volunteers, and University Police.

When you leave, you will only be able to turn right onto Rugar St. to avoid traffic congestion.

Please stay in your vehicles and pop your trunk - organizers and volunteers will handle the rest.
To help the North Country reopen safely and meet the state and local mandates, T he 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.
  • 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