Thursday April 2, 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!
UPDATED: Statement on US-Canada Initiative
Temporary Restriction of Travelers Crossing the US-Canada Land Border for Non-Essential Purposes
Per the attached Joint Statement by the U.S. and Canadian Governments, the new restrictions on cross border travel have been imposed for 30 days initially, beginning March 21. It is regarded, however, as highly likely this will be extended.

There are of course other Canadian and Quebec directives in place, closing down non-essential activity and travel, and Montreal has become a primary "hot spot" for the virus in Canada as NYC is in the U.S. Within Quebec, the government has actually closed all but essential travel in and out of 10 regions of the province, with police check points. And the Canadian Government is requiring returning Canadians not engaged in essential cross border travel to self-quarantine/isolate for 14 days and this requirement currently is through the end of June.

We will continue to distribute updates as they become available, but businesses should anticipate extended restrictions and discouragement of cross border travel for at least a few months to come.

Impacted members are encouraged to use our informational postings and webinars for guidance on how to utilize available federal assistance. 
PPP and EIDL Programs
Most small businesses and 501(c)3 nonprofits can begin applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through their current financial institution. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can begin applying on April 10th. No separate application to the SBA is necessary. The PPP’s goal is to keep workers on payroll and may be used to cover certain operating expenses including mortgage interest, rent, utilities, and payroll costs. The SBA will forgive the loan proceeds used to cover the first eight weeks of eligible costs. We encourage businesses to review the additional information available from the SBA and reach out to their current financial institution in the coming days.

Click below for more on the PPP and EIDL programs.
REAL ESTATE AGENTS AND APPRAISERS
ARE BACK IN BUSINESS!
The area’s real estate industry is back in business after the state deemed that its work is an essential business. The Empire State Development Corp. on Wednesday clarified that residential and commercial showings, along with back office real estate work, appraisal services and home inspections are essential real estate functions and could start back up immediately.
CARES ACT: Stimulus Bill Summarized
The President signed into law the C oronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act . At over $2 trillion dollars, this is by far the largest aid package in response to COVID-19, and includes several provisions to help ease the financial and economic burden on small businesses, non-profits, employees, and families. ⁠

Our team has done their best to summarize the bill and break it down to a digestible document.⁠
DHS: Now allowing 'virtual verification' of I-9 forms!
Due to precautions being implemented by employers and employees related to physical proximity associated with COVID-19, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. However, employers must inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email, etc.) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2. Employers also should enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 Additional Information field once physical inspection takes place after normal operations resume. Once the documents have been physically inspected, the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the Section 2 additional information field on the Form I-9, or to section 3 as appropriate. These provisions may be implemented by employers for a period of 60 days from the date of this notice OR within 3 business days after the termination of the National Emergency, whichever comes first.
ADIRONDACK COAST MOMENTS:
to help you escape the everyday!
The Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau will be launching a new Adirondack Coast Moments series on their social media platforms. In this current environment of uncertainty, they feel it is important to spread moments of peace and positivity to help viewers who need it escape their everyday life, even just for a minute.

Follow the #adkcoast on Facebook and Instagram to make sure you get your Adirondack Coast moment.
HELPING HANDS:
Jack LaDuke's Adirondack Journal
Mountain Lake PBS', Jack LaDuke, has the story of how businesses and stores are responding by finding new ways to assist their customers and their community.
ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • Now Hiring: Whether you are hiring or looking for work, we have a page dedicated to helping pair potential employees with employers.


  • 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.
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,  northcountrychamber.com  will hopefully make things a bit easier for you during this challenging time.
Have Questions? We're here to help!

North Country Chamber of Commerce
518.563.1000
info@nothcountrychamber.com