Wednesday July 8, 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!
Governor Cuomo announced this morning that Malls can open in Phase 4 regions so long as they have enhanced HVAC filtration system and measures in place:

  • MERV-13 or highest rating compatibile with the system - but no less than MERV-11 rating
  • Ventilation protocols: Increased outdoor air, reduced air recirculation, longer system run times, frequent filter checks.

More information will be posted throughout the day at forward.ny.gov.
QUARANTINE ORDER FOR NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVELERS ENTERING CANADA EXTENDED TO AUGUST 31
Canada has extended its requirement that all non-essential travelers who enter Canada be self-quarantined for two weeks until August 31. This primarily affects Canadians returning to their country from non-essential travel in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world. It still does not apply to travelers defined as essential border crossers, including truck drivers, health care personnel, cross border commuters in essential work, emergency responders and other limited categories.

The Canadian 2-week quarantine is a unilateral mandate by Canada and remains separate from the Canada-U.S. bi-nationally agreed border crossing restrictions which were last extended until July 21. Expectations are that there will also be an extension of that agreement, though we and others in both countries are continuing to advocate for a plan or roadmap for gradual reopening with agreed metrics and conditions, along with consideration of some modest expansions of essential travel definitions.
Gov Cuomo Adds Three Additional States to The Travel Advisory
Governor Cuomo announced yesterday three additional states have met the metrics to be placed on the Travel Advisory:
Kansas
Delaware
Oklahoma

The total list now includes 19 states.   Click here for the Governor's Press Release.
An Update from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli
Over these past few months, thanks to technology, I've had the privilege of speaking with many New Yorkers as we look to our communities for strength in these difficult times. But if you and I haven't had the chance to catch up in a while, I wanted to take this opportunity to check in, share a few brief updates from my office, and invite any questions that you might have about the role that the state comptroller's office is playing in our state's recovery.

Most importantly, I hope this finds you well. Even as regions enter phased-in reopening, we can't lose sight of the fact that this pandemic is far from over and that vulnerable communities across our state continue to feel the effects of Covid-19. Please keep practicing social distancing and if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, be sure to get tested immediately.

For all that we still don't know about this virus, there's even less that we can predict about the impact it will have on the New York economy in the long term. But here's what we do know so far: Our small business owners, our farmers, our manufacturers, and many, many hardworking folks across every sector of our economy have been hit hard by this crisis. 

That's why we've:
  • Taken steps to ensure that the state pension fund remains safe and secure
  • Supported the enactment of death benefits for survivors of public workers who were victims of Covid-19
  • Continued to invest in programs that help small businesses weather the economic downturn 
  • Established a Covid-19 Financial Survival Toolkit available on the state comptroller website
  • Issued periodic updates and reports to inform all stakeholders on the state of government finances and the economy 

There's much uncertainty surrounding what lies ahead, but I'm confident that New York will rise to the challenge, including finally addressing matters of racial and social injustice. As always, I am grateful for your support as we push forward.

Best wishes,
Tom DiNapoli  
US Chamber PPP & Pandemic Update
PPP Loan Application Extension: Last week, legislation was passed and signed into law extending the deadline to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans to August 8, 2020. Unfortunately, this change only extended the deadline to apply for a loan, and it did not include an expansion of the program to include all 501(c) non-profits. That change will likely have to be made in the more expansive Phase Four legislation we expect by the end of the month. Nevertheless, roughly $125 billion in funding remains in the PPP. Therefore, please encourage any of you members who need assistance and have not yet obtained a loan to speak with a bank ASAP. 
 
Coalition Letter re: Uniform Protective Mask Guidance: In light of growing confusion around the varying guidance on the wearing of protective masks and face coverings, a coalition of national business groups, including the U.S. Chamber, sent a letter asking that the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the National Governors Association work together to develop national standards and guidance (e.g. metrics, triggers, thresholds). This letter is not asking for a national mandate. Rather, it is urging the creation of uniform guidance to be implemented and enforced at the local and state level.   Click here to read and download the letter.  
7 SBA Programs Every Small Business Should Know About
Since 1953, the  U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)  has focused on providing assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs in various forms. On top of providing guidance to small businesses, this federal agency also offers programs to business owners in order to help them receive loans, grants, mentoring, and  federal contracting opportunities .

Programs Include:
  • 8(a) Business Development program
  • All Small Mentor-Protégé Program
  • HUBZone Program
  • SBA-associated grants
  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Program
  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
  • Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting program
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.
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.
Have Questions? We're here to help!

North Country Chamber of Commerce
518.563.1000