Monday July 13, 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!
DOH Emergency Rule on Masks
The NYS Department of Health has issued an emergency rule, effective Thursday July 9, 2020 ( available here ) that addresses the enforcement of several “social distancing” measures.
Perhaps most significant, the rule (Section 66-3.2) imposes an explicit, enforceable requirement on all building owners and operators:

  • Business operators and building owners, and those authorized on their behalf shall deny admittance to any person who fails to comply with this section [requiring face-coverings] and shall require or compel such persons’ removal. Provided, however, that this regulation shall be applied in a manner consistent with the federal American with Disabilities Act, New York State or New York City Human Rights Law, and any other applicable provision of law.

The rule does specify that any individual violating any provision of this rule is subject to civil penalty up to $1,000 per violation, while businesses are subject to civil penalties specified in statute, up to $2,000 per day of violation.
What Does the North Country Chamber of Commerce's New Agreement With SUNY Empire State College Mean 
This agreement allows employees, retirees and families of North Country Chamber of Commerce members to participate in Empire State College’s corporate and community partnership benefits program.
Benefits of this partnership:

  • Helps lower the cost and time needed to complete a degree by awarding college credit for employees’ prior professional learning
  • Waives the application fee
  • Provides a $100 presidential scholarship
For more information and a full list of programs available click the link below.
USDA Announces Changes to CFAP: Apples, Blueberries, and Raspberries Now Qualify for Additional Price-Decline Payments
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a number of changes to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP provides direct financial relief to farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers whose operations have been directly impacted and suffered losses as a result of COVID-19. 
Notable changes to the program include:

  • Adding the following commodities: alfalfa sprouts, anise, arugula, basil, bean sprouts, beets, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, celeriac (celery root), chives, cilantro, coconuts, collard greens, dandelion greens, greens (others not listed separately), guava, kale greens, lettuce – including Boston, green leaf, Lolla Rossa, oak leaf green, oak leaf red and red leaf – marjoram, mint, mustard, okra, oregano, parsnips, passion fruit, peas (green), pineapple, pistachios, radicchio, rosemary, sage, savory, sorrel, fresh sugarcane, Swiss chard, thyme and turnip top greens.

  • Expanding for seven currently eligible commodities – apples, blueberries, garlic, potatoes, raspberries, tangerines and taro – CARES Act funding for sales losses because USDA found these commodities had a 5 percent or greater price decline between mid-January and mid-April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, these commodities were only eligible for marketing adjustments.

  • Determining that peaches and rhubarb no longer qualify for payment under the CARES Act sales loss category.

  • Correcting payment rates for apples, artichokes, asparagus, blueberries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, garlic, kiwifruit, mushrooms, papaya, peaches, potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, tangerines and taro.
Producers of commodities that were only recently added to the list will be able to submit applications beginning on Monday, July 13 th .

  • For more information on the CFAP program, including a full list of eligible commodities, click here.

  • For more information on starting the application process, click here.
As travel increases, Canada boosting presence of health officials at airports, U.S. border
Ongoing restrictions due to the novel coronavirus pandemic have stopped many people from travelling, yet the number of international passengers arriving at Canadian airports each week has doubled in the past two months. The volume of people crossing the Canada-U.S. border has also increased.

Global News has learned the government is placing more public health officials at Canada’s busiest airports to screen incoming passengers for  COVID-19.  Quarantine and clinical screening officers are also being placed at the Canada-U.S. land border for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

This process was started eight weeks ago and is still ongoing, a spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said.
Time to register for Great Adk Garage Sale
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) and local leaders are encouraging residents to register for the 10th annual Great Adirondack Garage Sale. The sale this year will take place on August 7, 8 and 9.

The garage sale stretches over 150 miles through the Adirondacks. An interactive website showcases sale locations and allows unlimited photos of the items for sale to be uploaded.

Registration is free, and listings on the website include dates and times for each sale.

  • 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