Tuesday May 5, 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 Begins Outlining Re-opening Plan
Yesterday, the Governor continued to outline details and phases for regional reopening, a brief outline is below.

NYS State will monitor four core factors to determine if a Region can re-open:
  • Number of New Infections
  • Health Care Capacity
  • Diagnostic Testing Capacity
  • Contact Tracing Capacity

A region's ability to reopen will depend on the area having 30% available hospital capacity, a 14 day decline in Coronavirus cases and not exceeding 15 new total cases on a 3 day rolling basis.

Businesses will open in four phases:
  • Phase 1: Construction, Manufacturing, & Wholesale Supply Chain, as well as select Retail with curbside pickup
  • Phase 2: Professional services, retail, real estate, finances & Insurance
  • Phase 3: Restaurants/Food Service and Hotels/Accommodations
  • Phase 4: Arts, Entertainment, Recreation and Education

Phase one could begin, in eligible regions, on May 15th (still to be announced). It was not immediately clear when the remaining phases will take effect.

No region currently meets all the reopening criteria, however most Upstate regions are nearly eligible.

Yesterday, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) application porta l had temporarily re-opened to allow all previously ineligible agricultural businesses to apply for the EIDL and EIDL Advance programs.
The re-opening of the portal to eligible agricultural businesses is a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act.
Eligible agricultural businesses are now defined as those businesses with 500 or fewer employees engaged in the legal production of food or fiber, ranching, raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other forms of farming.
Non-agricultural businesses may not apply, except for any businesses that had completed an EIDL application prior to March 29 th , received a confirmation # starting with a “2”, and has not yet had the opportunity to submit the additional information required through the new streamlined portal.
Agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL loan application through the portal prior to the legislative change will not need to reapply. The SBA will move forward and process these applications on a first-in, first-out basis.
All other EIDL loan applications from all other business types that were submitted before the portal was closed due to a lack of funding on April 15 th will continue to be processed on a first-in, first-out basis.
For more information on the EIDL program visit the SBA’s website, here.
To apply for the SBA EIDL loan and/or advance programs, click here.
To read the full press-release, click here.  
The North Country Chamber of Commerce and ROOST (Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism) have announced the endorsement of one another's plans to assist with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

ROOST recently released its "Adirondack Tourism Strategy: Pathway Forward,” outlining strategies and approaches to transform the way it markets the northern Adirondack region as the state begins to move toward eventual economic reopening, including resumed travel activity.

The North Country Chamber also recently released "North Country Forward: A Plan for
Supporting Business Reopening in the North Country,” committing to a multi-faceted agenda of business support services before and during the reopening of various business sectors.

"The North Country Chamber and ROOST have had a great working partnership for many years," states Garry Douglas, Chamber President. "We are now committed to an active working collaboration through this new challenge which is confronting thousands of North Country businesses and organizations. We have both known for years that partnership is indispensable to success in our region, and this is clearly one of those times when the whole will exceed the sum of the parts."

"ROOST and the North Country Chamber will implement a coordinated strategy to assist our region's businesses and communities in taking the best steps forward to ensure economic recovery," said James McKenna, CEO of ROOST. "We will work in concert with New York State, our counties and local governments, our public health authorities, and our medical facilities to make certain that the best and most relevant programs are implemented as we move forward to secure sustainable economic growth."

Click here to read full statement.
The Quebec government has postponed the reopening of non-essential businesses in the greater Montreal region from May 11th to May 18th, siting Montreal does not have enough available hospital beds to cope with the surge of new COVID-19 patients the reopening may cause.

In a joint news conference Monday afternoon, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and Montreal Regional Public Health Director Mylène Drouin expressed support for the decision to postpone Montreal’s re-opening.

Full article and expectations are linked below.
We continue to work on behalf of our Lake Champlain marinas, urging steps to accelerate the opening of the Whitehall lock on the Champlain Canal , with work having started but then stopped there as part of New York Pause. Gil Quiniones, President and CEO of NYPA , which now oversees the state canal system, indicates that options are being reviewed with the Governor's Coronavirus Task Force and they are hopeful of being able to announce a plan before May 15th.
MTLCOOL has been working around the clock to develop a new PPE UV Sanitizer. This unit is designed to kill viruses such as COVID-19 and allow health care workers to reuse PPE equipment. It combines two methods to kill the virus, Heat and UV-C spectrum light.
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.
  • 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