Wednesday March 25, 2020
Hello Chamber Members and Partners,

Here are the latest updates and resources for businesses and employees during this uncertain time including information the Stimulus Bill that continues to develop, updates on how to apply for the SBA Disaster Relief Loan, resources available for applying for the SBA Disaster Loan and an update from our Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau.

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!
Stimulus Bill (CARES Act) - What We Know!
The North Country Chamber of Commerce would like to take this opportunity to bring our members and business community up to speed on the status of the  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act , the third and largest COVID-19 relief bill that is currently pending a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.  

The Chamber has been in constant contact with our federal elected officials and we have been closely monitoring this legislation. While this legislation has passed the Senate, it still needs to be approved in the House and signed by the President. The legislation is still subject to change before being signed into law however, there are a number of items of interest in the bill as it currently stands including: 

  • The Paycheck Protection Program - a new federally guaranteed loan program to assist small employers who maintain their payroll during the emergency. This program does include a loan forgiveness clause that would allow a portion of the loan to be forgiven if certain criteria (maintaining payroll) and loan terms/conditions are met. 

  • Enhancements to the Current SBA Emergency Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program - including expanded eligibility and the removal of certain terms/conditions for loans below $200,000.

  • Creation of Emergency EIDL Grants - Allows for entities eligible to apply for an EIDL to request an advance in the form of an emergency grant of up to $10,000 for the purpose of maintaining payroll, providing paid sick leave, and to service other debt obligations. 

  • Tax Credits for Businesses - A 50% refundable payroll tax credit during the COVID-19 crisis for businesses who continue to pay employees while they are either fully or partially shut down OR have a 50% decrease in receipts versus the same quarter in the previous year.

  • Expanded Eligibility and Enhancements to Unemployment Insurance - creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for those not traditionally covered by unemployment insurance (UI), including the self-employed, independent contractors, or those with limited work history; provides an additional $600 per week in recipients of UI and PUA for up to 4 months; and, provides an additional 13 weeks of UI after state UI expires.

  • Cash Rebates to U.S. Residents - all U.S. residents with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples will receive a cash rebate of $1,200 (for individuals) or $2,400 (for couples). An additional $500 will be given for each child per household. Includes all taxpayers with work-eligible SSN, including those with low or no income.

The North Country Chamber of Commerce will continue to monitor this, and future, legislation. We will remain in close contact with our elected officials and if/when it is enacted into law, the North Country Chamber of Commerce will analyze the final text of the law and will continue to distribute relevant information via our Daily Dose e-newsletter and on our website.
SBA Disaster Loan Assistance Online Portal Temporarily Unavailable 
We have been notified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that the online portal on their website - used to submit, request assistance, and check the status of disaster loans - is temporarily unavailable as it is currently undergoing maintenance. This maintenance seeks to ensure a better, faster user experience during this time of increased traffic to the website. Please know that SBA staff are working around the clock to ensure that the online portal is up and running again as soon as possible, but no timeline is currently available.

In the interim, you can find guidance below for submitting an EIDL application while the website undergoes maintenance.
You can download and complete the paper forms here . In addition to the application itself, you will also need to complete/include the following supporting documents:
Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506T) for the applicant, principals and affiliates.
  • Complete copies of the most recent Federal Income Tax Return
  • Schedule of Liabilities (SBA Form 2202)
  • Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413)
  • Profit and loss statements
  • Monthly sales figures (SBA Form 1368)
Once you have completed the application and have the supporting documents, you have a few options to submit them:
  • You can upload them directly here
  • You can email them
  • You can mail them here: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243

Uploading or emailing the application are the preferred route – due to the amount of applications currently being received, please understand that there may be significant delays for those applications that are mailed hard-copy. 
We hope this information proves helpful. For more information on the SBA EIDL program, or to view a recording of our webinar on the program, please visit our website here
SBA Disaster Loan Application Assistance
North Country businesses are fortunate to have great resource partners to help them work through the process of applying for the recently announced Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans . We’ve listed two of them below.

Chamber staff has had several conversations with SBA representatives over the past several days. They advise that businesses should consider applying as soon as possible because they expect a very large number of applications over the next several months. Backlogs and longer time frames for approval are likely. Even if you are not sure how much money you may need to get through this, you may want to apply now. SBA staff noted that businesses can request a modification for more, or less, funding down the road if needed, though any modification request would be subject to approval by the agency.


AEDC encourages any businesses to contact the organization for no-cost business counseling. The organization is emphasizing the need for businesses to implement quick, first-step strategic measures. AEDC will be conducting periodic online training sessions to discuss available resources and business planning in time of crisis. 

AEDC is working with the newly-released SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program . These low-interest loans are available to all for-profit and most non-profit organizations to address substantial economic injury due to the pandemic. Applicants may apply directly online.

AEDC will act as an agent in application to this fund for any small businesses that desire this service. Due to the length of application AEDC will be charging a fee (split 50/50 between AEDC and the business) to undertake this service. An emphasis on moving quickly to access these funds is stressed, as delays are anticipated as the program progresses. Stay tuned to the organization's Facebook site and website for details in the coming weeks. Contact AEDC Business Counselors Steve Garneau or Stephanie Donaldson for assistance.

The SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides small business owners in New York with the highest quality, confidential business counseling, training, and business research at no cost. 
If you are a business owner seeking disaster assistance, the  U.S. Small Business Administration   is making working capital loans available to small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. For assistance understanding the program or completing an application please request an appointment with SBDC staff by visiting our website .
Company Spotlight - Insum Solutions
SUNY Plattsburgh START-UP NY Business Assists Healthcare Workers
Insum Solutions, the Montreal-based custom software development company with a START-UP NY office in SUNY Plattsburgh’s Redcay Hall, has launched a global online platform to connect healthcare providers in urgent need of Personal Protective Equipment with volunteers who can help meet those needs.

“Medical facilities can log their needs here . This information immediately becomes available to organizations and/or volunteers that want to help donate, make or otherwise provide the equipment,” said Martin Mailloux, a lecturer in computer science and an Insum consultant.

The site has seen a high volume of traffic since its launch on Sunday, March 22, as facilities face shortages of gowns, masks and face shields. Volunteers who have the ability to make masks, for instance, can see the need in real time and reach out to the facilities.
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,  will hopefully make things a bit easier for you during this challenging time.

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

  • Cleaning Companies: Coronavirus can survive on surfaces for up to a week making it difficult to track and contain. With many local businesses closed now is the time to disinfect your office, properly. We have complied a list of trusted cleaning company for you to contact.

Adirondack Coast New Messaging
With the uncertain time and travel bans, the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau has spent some time developing new messaging. The new campaigns will focus on highlighting the area's outdoor attractions that local residents can enjoy while reassuring our visitors we will be open and ready when the travel bans are lifted.

Here is the latest video from Kristy Kennedy & Alyssa Senecal, the Visitors Bureau's team talking to our visitors and residents about the state of travel and region.
Have Questions? We're here to help!

North Country Chamber of Commerce