Wednesday September 2, 2020
Today is the 105th edition of DAILY DOSE. We are making a few changes!

The DAILY DOSE began in March as a way to bring you and the region timely and helpful information related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has clearly served as a "go to" source of guidance and support ever since, reaching more than 5,000 recipients each edition with news and developments, advice, access to more than 60 specialized training sessions on safe re-openings, federal and state programs, employment law and more. Plus serving as a vehicle for advocacy and support.

Beginning next week, the DAILY DOSE, which recently adjusted from 5 to 3 days a week, will be routinely issued twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We will be changing it's name to TODAY'S CHAMBER DOSE and it will continue to provide access to pandemic related news, developments and support, along with timely information on other Chamber programs and activities.

And just like now, we will not hesitate to issue SPECIAL EDITIONS AND ALERTS as needed.

We hope you will continue to find the "DOSE" valuable. Also, please continue to use the Chamber website to access a great deal of additional information and continue to contact us whenever we might be of assistance. 

As always if you have questions, thoughts, comments or concerns, give us a shout and we will do our best to continue to get you answers!

Your Chamber Team!
INPUT NEEDED: COVID-19 RESTAURANT SURVEY
The North Country Chamber is deeply concerned for our area restaurants as summer fades, the end approaches for outdoor dining, new federal support seems stuck, and the pandemic and its economic impacts, including the border closure, remain very much alive.
Our North Country restaurants are part of the very foundation of our communities, our quality of life and our economy. It has been a privilege to work with dozens of you on everything from assistance with federal funding to training for re-opening, accessing sanitizer and PPE and more. But we know we are now entering a make or break phase and we want to hear from you.

If you are a restaurant owner, please help us help you by taking just a few minutes to complete the survey linked below. The results will help us develop what we can do in the weeks ahead in terms of promotion and advocacy on your behalf.

RESPONSES WILL BE SHARED ONLY IN THE AGGREGATE. No individual responses will be identified.

Thank you in advance for your time!
FORRREEE: Northern Insuring/North Country Chamber Golf Tournament
Yes, Folks! We are ready to see all of you - in person - and because of this we are working hard to organize our popular Northern Insuring Golf Classic!

This year you can attend in person with a team as a "Team Sponsor" or if you want to show your support, but can't attend we have our "Socially Distant" Sponsorship available too. (See what we did there?!)

  • Date: Friday September 25th
  • Time: Tee Times Vary (8:30 - 111:30)
  • Course: Adirondack Golf & Country Club

LIMITED TEAM SPOTS AVAILABLE!

Whether you're just learning the game of golf, or you're a tourney champ, the Northern Insuring & Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament is loads of fun...we think!

Things might look a little different, but we hope you join us (or socially distantly support us) for a day!

You can register by visiting northcountrychamber.com or contact Kristy Kennedy at kristyk@northcountrychamber.com.
Reducing Conflict and Tension in the Workplace
A toxic workplace can derail any business or agency from realizing its true capacity and reaching its organizational goals. A significant part of a business’s success or failure lies in company culture, driven by its biggest asset, its people, from executives and employees to customers and the community. How effectively businesses manage and learn from tension and conflict in the workplace has a great impact on operations and outcomes. This workshop will equip businesses with principles, perspectives, and practices to not only manage tension and conflict, but to learn and grow from the rich lessons embedded in them. 

  • Date: September 8
  • Time: 11:00AM

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand and identify the origins of conflict and tension and how it impacts company culture and productivity.
  • Learn strategies for effectively stepping into conflict and techniques for alleviating tension at the individual, departmental, and company-wide levels.
  • Explore environmental, relational, and policy-driven mechanisms that promote positive culture through support, safety, and significance. 
  • Establish routine practices of effective communication, systems of acknowledgment and accountability, and improve company vision buy-in through universal contribution and feedback.
  • Develop innovative and creative approaches for addressing the unique stresses and concerns experienced during these unprecedented times. 
CBSA ANNOUNCES SERVICE LIMITATIONS
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has announced that NEXUS and FAST enrollment centers in Canada will remain closed until at least October 5, 2020. U.S. enrollment centers are currently closed until at least September 8 but a similar extension can be expected.

We also remind essential border crossings that limited opening hours remain in effect at three local outports:

  • MOOERS/HEMMINGFORD
  • OVERTON CORNERS/LACOLLE ROUTE 221
  • ROUSES POINT/LACOLLE ROUTE 223

At these crossings, the U.S. ports (south bound) are open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Canadian ports (north bound) are open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The main Champlain/Lacolle crossing (I/87-Autoroute 15) remains open 24/7 in both directions. 
Governor Cuomo announced yesterday two additional states—Alaska and Montana—meet the metrics to qualify for New York State's COVID-19 travel advisory. No areas have been removed. 

States and Areas Added:
  • Alaska
  • Montana

New York State's infection rate has been below 1 percent for 25 straight days. The number of patients in ICUs remained at 109, the lowest number since March 15. The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive and many other helpful data points are always available at forward.ny.gov.
 
"As we continue to pursue a phased, data driven reopening, the number of areas that remain on New York's travel advisory is a stark reminder of the continued extent of the COVID-19 crisis throughout the nation," Governor Cuomo said. "Our ability to protect our state and fight the virus begins with what we do here at home, and that's why it's so important that New Yorkers wear masks, socially distance and wash their hands, and why local governments need to enforce state guidance. Everyone stay safe and be New York Tough, and we will get through this together."
Vermont imposes travel limits for Essex, Hamilton counties
The state of Vermont has imposed travel restrictions for New York’s Essex and Hamilton counties.

The restrictions were imposed as Essex County contends with its first major outbreak at a nursing home. As of Monday, at least 84 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in connection with the outbreak at the Essex Center nursing home and rehabilitation facility in Elizabethtown. Six of the center’s residents have died. Hamilton County has seen at least 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March, according to the New York State Department of Health.

Vermont’s travel new restrictions require any Vermonter who travels to Essex or Hamilton counties to quarantine when they return home. Those traveling from Essex or Hamilton counties into Vermont are required to either quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, or quarantine at home for seven days and test negative for COVID-19 prior to traveling.
Essex and Hamilton County residents who plan to camp or vacation in Vermont are also required to sign a certificate of compliance with the quarantine requirement when they book a campsite, vacation rental or hotel room. Essential workers traveling for business face different requirements.
NEW STATE GUIDANCE FOR AGRITOURISM BUSINESSES AS FALL APPROACHES
Governor Cuomo today announced new state guidance for agritourism businesses as New York State enters the Fall season. The businesses, which include corn mazes, pick-your-own fruit and vegetable operations, hayrides and haunted houses, are considered low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment and are permitted to operate under New York's NY Forward guidance.

The businesses that can reopen are subject to Low Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment and Public Transportation guidance. Guidance includes, but is not limited to:
 
Corn Mazes: permitted consistent with Low Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:
  • Reduced capacity
  • Face coverings required
  • Social distance maintained between individuals/parties
 
Hayrides: permitted consistent with Public Transportation guidance and the following conditions:
  • Mandatory face coverings
  • Social distance required between individuals/parties
  • Frequently touched surfaces, such as handrails, cleaned and sanitized between rides
 
Pick-Your-Own Fruit/Vegetables Operations: permitted consistent with Low Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:
  • Reduced capacity
  • Face coverings required
  • Social distance maintained between individuals/parties.
 
Haunted Houses: permitted consistent with Low Risk Indoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:
  • Reduced capacity
  • Face coverings required
  • Social distance maintained between individuals/parties
 
Petting zoos are not permitted.
   
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has issued a full slate of guidelines for the agricultural industry, including guidance for farmers' markets and for its food and beverage producers. All guidance can be found here.
US Department of Labor confirms that employees may take intermittent FFCRA leave for kids on hybrid school schedules
On August 27, 2020, the US Department of Labor updated its Frequently Asked Questions regarding leave under the Family First Corona Virus Relief Act (FFCRA), and clarified that employees who are parents of students on hybrid schedules, who attend school on certain days, but learn remotely on other days, are eligible to take Expanded FMLA on the days when school is not in session for their kids. Earlier this summer, a New York federal district court decision struck down aspects of the Department of Labor’s rules, including provisions limiting the employee’s use of intermittent leave. Therefore, while the new FAQs have changed the effect of the FFCRA in much of the country, employers in New York were already required to allow such intermittent leave.  

  • By Jacqueline Kelleher, Esq.
QUICK LINKS:

  • 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
518.563.1000