Wednesday July 1, 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!
NORTH COUNTRY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WELCOMES USMCA TAKING EFFECT JULY 1
"As July 1 is Canada Day, it is traditionally a time for all of us in the North Country to welcome thousands of our neighbors to our summer attractions. Unfortunately, the pandemic and the resulting continued closure of our shared border to all but essential travel, is keeping us apart this year.

"However, on the commercial side, July 1st is bringing us even closer together this year as the new USMCA agreement takes full effect. Indeed, the fact that the Canadian Parliament approved USMCA in its final actions before its own COVID-19 shutdown, and that the U.S., Canada and Mexico were determined to finalize all of the many implementing steps in time for July 1st, is an enormous testament to the high levels of recognition regarding the enormous importance of our economic partnership.

"The terms of USMCA bring added benefits to both the U.S. and Canada, and some simpler procedures for cross border shipping. But most importantly, after a tough period of negotiations which at times caused concern that the outcome might not be positive, the extraordinary value of the U.S.-Canada economic partnership came though, was recognized and was preserved. Like the Hippocratic Oath, step one in our bi-national relationship was to do no harm. The added benefits in such areas as automotive manufacturing, IT and the digital economy, and in dairy are then definitely to the good and are welcome.  

"Indeed, the recent success in obtaining a specific exemption of Canada from new suspensions of various work visas hopefully shows that Washington has gained a somewhat enhanced awareness that the economic connectivity between the U.S. and Canada is both unique and mutually beneficial.

"As we miss the presence of our Canadian friends this week, and miss the personal ability to enjoy going north, we nevertheless have cause to embrace the implementation of USMCA for its direct benefits to the North Country economy and our future, and as a timely reminder of how incredibly important our bi-national relationship is on all levels."

Onward and Upward,
Garry Douglas
President and CEO
UPDATES ON THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM: NEW RULES AND FORGIVENESS APPLICATIONS
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act, which was signed into law on June 5, 2020, made a number of changes to the PPP including extending the period businesses can utilize funds and receive forgiveness, allowing for a greater portion of the loan to be utilized on non-payroll expenses, and much more.

Join the   North Country Chamber of Commerce     and  SCORE     for webinar with Jeffrey Boyce, Northeast New York Branch Manager for the U.S. Small Business Administration, that will cover these changes to the program, including the recently released revised forgiveness applications.

  • Date: Thursday, July 9th
  • Time:   11:00AM

Questions will be accepted ahead of the webinar.
*Webinar information will be sent to you by email after registration.
Clinton County Department of Motor Vehicles Will Be Fully Operational Beginning Monday, July 6
Clinton County Clerk, has announced that effective Monday, July 6, the Clinton County Department of Motor Vehicles will be open to the public and will be fully operational. Clinton County residents will no longer have to make an appointment and can simply stop in during normal business hours.
Please make sure you have completed all appropriate paperwork prior to entering the Motor Vehicle office. You can find the forms online or forms are available outside of the office in the main lobby of the Government Center.
They request that only the customer who is bringing in the transaction enter the department and to please wear a face covering and practice social distancing.
Stefanik - NEH CARES Act Funding for Fort Ticonderoga
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has announced $285,358 in National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) CARES Act funding for Fort Ticonderoga. This grant will be used to enable the development and expansion of virtual public programming and educational programs. Welcoming visitors since 1909, Fort Ticonderoga preserves North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2,000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, and Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched Revolutionary War era earthworks surviving in America.

“The North Country is a very rich historic area, and Fort Ticonderoga is of significant importance to our region,”  said Congresswoman Stefanik.  “I am excited to announce this funding that will further their mission of telling the story of our area’s integral role in the landscape of American history. I look forward to seeing the development of Fort Ticonderoga, and I will continue to advocate for funding that impacts on our North Country communities.”
Hannaford Donates $250,000 to Support Local Farms
Hannaford Supermarkets announced a $250,000 donation to support farms throughout New England and New York adversely impacted by the coronavirus global health pandemic.

As a result of the donation, a total of 250 farms will receive funding via the American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fund, which provides farmers with grants to help them navigate challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis. The donation will directly support small local farmers and producers who have experienced market disruptions as their primary buyers and points of sale, including farmers markets, restaurants and schools, have closed or drastically decreased operations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
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