Wednesday May 6, 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!
TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING!
While we all await further word on phased reopening, in terms of timing related to our region meeting all of seven health related criteria, the North Country Chamber of Commerce and its partners are not waiting.

NORTH COUNTRY FORWARD , our 5 point plan for supporting reopening across the region, has one core service commitment: SAFETY TRAINING. We believe reopening can be facilitated by starting now to give EVERY BUSINESS OF EVERY KIND a basic grounding in the essential concepts, principles and terms related to creating a safe and healthy environment for employees and customers.

The North Country Chamber has been the leading state approved provider of workplace safety training in our region for more than 20 years and we are working actively with the State Labor Dept. and a number of training experts to create a series of virtual workshops that will unfold starting next week. After a basic program that will create a foundation for everyone, we will then be providing on-line training sessions for a number of specific sectors including:

  • CONSTRUCTION
  • HOTELS & ACCOMMODATIONS
  • RESTAURANTS & FOOD SERVICE
  • RETAIL
  • OFFICES
  • MANUFACTURING
  • OUTDOOR BUSINESSES
SAFETY RESOURCE OFFICER
Following CDC guidance and best practices emerging nationally, we ask EVERY employer to decide who amongst their team will be in charge of learning about, implementing and then maintaining commitment to various health/safety practices and measures at their worksite. Many sectors have had such a person for years -- manufacturers, health care, construction, transportation, etc. Now even small businesses of all kinds should designate someone to take all available training, inform and guide employees and be their point person in this important area going forward.

IT IS NOT A REQUIREMENT OR A NEW POSITION FOR YOU. It is a way of thinking internally to best manage this aspect of business.

So, decide who that person is. It might be, with small businesses, the owner or the GM. Or it might be someone else you believe would be a good team member to assign this responsibility. And then start watching for the TRAINING SESSIONS , all of which will also be distributed and posted afterwards.
USDA SECRETARY RESPONDS TO CHAMBER'S CONTINUED ADVOCACY
The North Country Chamber of Commerce has been actively advocating in Washington and Albany on behalf of North Country farmers. And we will continue to do!

Attached is a letter received yesterday from Sonny Perdue, Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, addressing our most recent recommendations and requests. More is definitely being done but everyone acknowledges that additional targeted support is required.

We will remain in active touch with our partners at Farm Bureau as well as others.
GUIDANCE FOR LODGING EMPLOYERS TO PLAN & RESPOND TO CORONAVIRUS
The following guidance, from the  American Hotel and Lodging Association , may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including the Coronavirus, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of the Coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This guidance is based on what is currently known about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from the Coronavirus while ensuring continuity of operations.

U.S. CUSTOMS & BORDER PROTECTION: NEW WEB PORTAL REGARDING COVID-19 RELIEF IMPORTS
The U.S. Customs & Border Protection has launched a COVID-19 Relief Imports web portal. It has been established to replace the prior email address for all cargo inquiries related to the importation of medical supplies to fight the spread of COVID-19.
 
It provides an interactive experience for the user to review pertinent information and allows for the submission of a direct inquiry to the COVID-19 Cargo Resolution Team, (CCRT).
RECORDI NG: US Senator Charles Schumer Video Townhall
Last week, we hosted a Video Townhall with US Senator Charles Schumer. He updated us on what he is working on in Washington DC as well as what we can expect for the North Country.

If you missed it we have you covered. Click the link below for a full recording of the discussion.

If you have missed any of our past webinars and Townhalls they are available for playback on our website.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Dannemora Federal Credit Union
Dannemora Federal Credit Union has announced a $40,000 philanthropic initiative to support multiple non-profit organizations in the North Country focusing on COVID-19 relief. Funds received by the recipient organizations will be used for support services for individuals/families facing financial hardship due to the pandemic and patient/healthcare support. In determining the contribution amount to allocate for each organization, DFCU considered the organization’s total size, scope of service, and needs in the area related to the pandemic. All recipient organizations are located within Dannemora Federal Credit Union’s service areas of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and St. Lawrence counties in NY.

“The effect of this pandemic has been far reaching and has had a direct impact on our neighbors in the North Country” states Chris Hay, Dannemora Federal Credit Union President/CEO, “We have families struggling financially and the impact to our hospitals has been dramatic. On behalf of our Board of Directors, staff and our over 19,000 members, it is my honor to announce that Dannemora Federal Credit Union is donating $40,000 for COVID-19 relief in the North Country. $20,000 will be directed to the United Way of the Adirondack Region’s Emily Fund and $20,000 to our hospitals. We believe that in these difficult times, it is more important than ever to step forward and provide some much needed assistance to our community. Donating to the Emily Fund and our local hospitals is the most efficient and impactful way to get help to those who need it most.”

The complete list of recipient organizations include:
 
  • $20,000 United Way of the Adirondack Region Emily Fund
  • $10,000 Foundation of Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital
  • $2,500 UVM Health Network - Alice Hyde Medical Center, Office of Philanthropy
  • $2,500 Adirondack Health Foundation
  • $1,000 Elizabethtown Community Hospital
  • $1,000 Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Foundation
  • $1,000 Massena Memorial Hospital Foundation
  • $1,000 Canton-Potsdam Hospital Foundation
  • $1,000 Wilderness Health Care Foundation (Clifton-Fine Hospital)
 
Visit  dfcu.net  for further information and to find out how you can help.
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.
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