Tuesday June 9, 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!
PHASE THREE GUIDELINES NOW POSTED
 While Phase Three is not in effect yet, Phase Three Guidelines for FOOD SERVICE and PERSONAL SERVICES are now posted on the  Forward.ny.gov  website.

Personal Services Include:
  • Tattoo & Piercing Facilities
  • Appearance Enhancement Practitioners
  • Massage Therapy
  • Spas
  • Tanning
  • Cosmetology
  • Nail Specialty
  • Waxing

These Guidelines do not substitute for the Guidelines for Hair Salons/Barber Shops but are in addition if they engage in any of these added services.

NOTE: Phase three has NOT started yet, but we welcome the posting of the guidelines ahead of the start. Restaurants/Food Services and Personal Services should read and affirm the updated Guidelines and either update or create their Safety Plan while awaiting the start of Phase Three, hoping in a matter of days but with no firm date.
NAVIGATING AND UPDATING YOUR MARKETING STRATEGIES IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
Join  Workshop  and the  North Country Chamber of Commerce  for a conversation about the new marketing landscape that is emerging due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and steps you can take to stay current. Learn how to create meaningful content, go digital and free programs available to help your business step up its marketing game.

Date:    Thursday,  June 11th
Time:    12:00PM


Presenter:

  • Sara Cook, Director of Client Services, Workshop

Moderator:

  • Kristy Kennedy, VP Marketing for The North Country Chamber of Commerce

Register and ask questions in advance using the link below!
*Webinar login information will be sent to you by email after registering.
UPDATED GUIDANCE FROM EMPIRE STATE DEVELOPMENT ON ALLOWED RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
The Governor's Office has updated the Essential Business Guidance on the Empire State Development website has been updated today to reflect the addition of the below activities in the recreation category:
 
  • Racket games, such as badminton, pickleball, racquetball
  • Toss/bowl games, such horseshoes, bocce, bean bag toss, croquet
  • Flying disc games, such as disc golf and frisbee
  • Shuffleboard
  • Aerial rope courses or zip lining
  • Rope courses including aerial rope courses
  • Batting cages
  • Shooting ranges
  • Swim classes and swim instruction
 
The guidance can be found here , under section 13. 
Joint Statement by SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin Regarding Enactment of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act
SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin issued the following statement today following the enactment of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act:
 
“We want to thank President Trump for his leadership and commend Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader McCarthy for working on a bipartisan basis to pass this legislation for small businesses participating in the Paycheck Protection Program.
 
“We also want to express our gratitude to Chairman Rubio, Ranking Member Cardin, Senator Collins, Congressman Roy, Congressman Phillips, and other members of Congress who have helped to create and guide our implementation of this critical program that has provided over 4.5 million small business loans totaling more than $500 billion to ensure that approximately 50 million hardworking Americans stay connected to their jobs.
 
“This bill will provide businesses with more time and flexibility to keep their employees on the payroll and ensure their continued operations as we safely reopen our country.
 
“We look forward to getting the American people back to work as quickly as possible.”
 
Upcoming Procedures
 
SBA, in consultation with Treasury, will promptly issue rules and guidance, a modified borrower application form, and a modified loan forgiveness application implementing these legislative amendments to the PPP. These modifications will implement the following important changes:
 
Extend the covered period for loan forgiveness from eight weeks after the date of loan disbursement to 24 weeks after the date of loan disbursement, providing substantially greater flexibility for borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness.  Borrowers who have already received PPP loans retain the option to use an eight-week covered period.
  • Lower the requirements that 75 percent of a borrower’s loan proceeds must be used for payroll costs and that 75 percent of the loan forgiveness amount must have been spent on payroll costs during the 24-week loan forgiveness covered period to 60 percent for each of these requirements. If a borrower uses less than 60 percent of the loan amount for payroll costs during the forgiveness covered period, the borrower will continue to be eligible for partial loan forgiveness, subject to at least 60 percent of the loan forgiveness amount having been used for payroll costs.
  • Provide a safe harbor from reductions in loan forgiveness based on reductions in full-time equivalent employees for borrowers that are unable to return to the same level of business activity the business was operating at before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with requirements or guidance issued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, related to worker or customer safety requirements related to COVID–19.
  • Provide a safe harbor from reductions in loan forgiveness based on reductions in full-time equivalent employees, to provide protections for borrowers that are both unable to rehire individuals who were employees of the borrower on February 15, 2020, and unable to hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions by December 31, 2020.
  • Increase to five years the maturity of PPP loans that are approved by SBA (based on the date SBA assigns a loan number) on or after June 5, 2020.
  • Extend the deferral period for borrower payments of principal, interest, and fees on PPP loans to the date that SBA remits the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount to the lender (or, if the borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, 10 months after the end of the borrower’s loan forgiveness covered period). 
  • In addition, the new rules will confirm that June 30, 2020, remains the last date on which a PPP loan application can be approved.
Now Available: COVID-19 & Workers’ Compensation Q&A
The Workers' Compensation Board has published a COVID-19 & Workers’ Compensation Q&A document to answer questions about workers’ compensation benefits to employees who get COVID-19 while on the job. This Q&A is available on the  Board’s website .

FOR EMPLOYEES:  If you believe you became ill with COVID-19 due to your work, you should tell your employer as soon as possible, file an  Employee Claim (Form C-3)  with the Board, and see a doctor to obtain a diagnosis.

FOR EMPLOYERS:  If a worker reports that they are sick due to a workplace exposure, you must contact your workers’ compensation insurance carrier immediately. The insurance carrier then has 18 days to act on the claim and must begin paying benefits within this time frame if the claim is accepted.
Changes to Travel Restrictions For Immediate Family Members of Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents
The Government recognizes however that the temporary border measures put in place to fight the spread of COVID-19, while necessary, have created challenges for some families.
The Government has therefore been looking at ways to keep families together and support unity while respecting the need for continued vigilance and border measures at this time.
The Canada Border Services Agency is announcing that as of  June 8, 2020 foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or who do not have reason to believe they have COVID-19, will be exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days.

Foreign nationals who are admitted into Canada pursuant to this exemption must quarantine for 14 days.

An immediate family member refers to a person’s:
  • Spouse or common-law partner
  • Dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or a dependent child of the person’s spouse or common-law partner
  • Dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, of a dependent child
  • Parent or step-parent or the parent or step-parent of the person’s spouse or common-law partner
  • Guardian or tutor

All foreign nationals who have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 continue to remain prohibited from entering Canada.

This change does not apply to immediate family members of temporary residents in Canada, such as those on a student or work visa.
ROOST's Resident Sentiment Survey
Our friends at ROOST are conducting the following survey to help better understand the local sentiment with regard to restarting the region. The information gathered will assist local officials, community leaders, and businesses with important decisions as we move forward during this unprecedented time.
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.
QUICK LINKS:
  • 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
518.563.1000