Tuesday March 24, 2020
Hello Chamber Members and Partners,

Here are the latest updates and resources for businesses and employees during this uncertain time including new information on our Thursday webinar on State and Federal Leave Mandates, NYS DMV, Mortgage Questions and Health Insurance information.

*Please note: Today we conducted a webinar, with SBA - Providing Economic Injury Disaster Loans For Coronavirus Related Economic Disruptions, if you were unable to attend, or would like to refer back to the information there is a link to the full webinar on our site or  click here .*

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 Upward!
WEBINAR: Update for Employers on State and Federal Leave Mandates and Employee Benefits
Date: Thursday, March 26th
Time: 1:00pm
Cost: FREE
Speaker: Attorney Jaci Kelleher, Stafford Owens Law Firm


Policies, regulations, and laws that affect employers and our employees are changing rapidly. Join us for this update from Jaci Kelleher from Stafford Owens Law Firm to help you keep up with and manage these changes.

WEBINAR WILL INCLUDE:

  • Information on the federal FMLA leave provisions going into effect on April 2nd
  • NYS Shared work program - Can it work for you?
  • Unemployment changes and considerations

Can't make it? No worries, a recording of this webinar will be posted on our website,  northcountrychamber.com , at a later date.
NOTE: We will be using GoToWebinar for this. Please download and register for the FREE GoTo viewer on your mobile device (available for android and iphone in the app store) OR on your desktop. Your registration confirmation will contain a link that will lead you to the webinar on Friday morning. Talk to you then!
CUOMO: Mortgage Services Announcement

The Department of Financial Services issued a new directive to New York State mortgage services to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The directive includes:

  • Waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship
  • No negative reporting to credit bureaus
  • Grace period for loan modification
  • No late payment fees or online payment fees
  • Postponing or suspending foreclosures
  • Governor Cuomo also asked the Department of Financial Services to instruct state chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees and fees for credit cards to help lessen the financial hardship on New Yorkers
If you have questions, We've got answers!

The North Country Chamber of Commerce has a page dedicated to Health Insurance resources as well as a Broker, Lisa Bedard-Dupee , on staff who is able to help you purchase and navigate your health insurance options.
CUOMO: Health Insurance

The Governor asked the Department of Financial Services to issue a directive to health insurers allowing scheduled surgeries and admissions without insurer preapproval and allowing inpatient hospital services without insurer approval. 

This allows insurers to pay for inpatient hospital services and emergency services without waiting to review for medical necessity.

Patients will also be able to be discharged to a rehabilitation center or nursing home after an inpatient hospital stay without insurer pre-approval, and encourages self-funded plans to adopt these same provisions.
UPDATE: NYS DMV's
In an effort to protect the health and safety of the public and their employees, and as directed in Governor Cuomo's  Executive Order 202.8 , all New York State Department of Motor Vehicle offices are now closed and all road tests are suspended until further notice. All reservations have been cancelled. NYS residents can still do most transactions online  here.   

New York's Department of Motor Vehicles has also announced that all licenses, non-driver ID's, and registrations with an expiration date of March 1, 2020 or later will be extended. The current 45-day temporary vehicle registration issued by auto dealers will also be extended. Please note, the extension does not apply to insurance coverage requirements. Motor Vehicle Liability insurance coverage must be maintained during the extension period.

As DMV responds to the impact of COVID-19, the processing of some transactions and the provision of some services may be delayed.
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.
ADDITIONAL NEWS - UPDATE
  • The Plattsburgh YMCA has set up a School’s Out Club for children ages 5-12 years old. Priority is being given to emergency and essential personnel including hospital employees and will be set up at Momot and Oak Street Schools in Plattsburgh. Please see the attached flyer for further details. You may reach out to them directly at 518-561-4290 or tsantor@plattsburghymca.org if you are interested!

  • Hudson Headwaters has developed a webpage that provides COVID-19 information upon which patients, community members and media can rely.

  • Since issuing the initial COVID-19 Guidance Document on March 16, 2020, the Workers Compensation Board has received many questions from attorneys about the need for signatures on certain documents. Many attorneys, other law firm staff, and employees of payers and administrators are working from home during this crisis and are unable in some instances to submit required forms. To that end, the Board is hereby suspending until further notice the requirement for original handwritten signatures on certain forms.


  • Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order expanding the Tax Commissioner’s authority to abate late filing and payment penalties. This will allow the Commissioner to abate interest on quarterly and annual sales and use tax filings and remittances with a due date of March 20, 2020, for those who were unable to timely file and pay as result of the COVID-19 virus. For additional information, visit Tax Department response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Have Questions? We're here to help!

North Country Chamber of Commerce
518.563.1000
info@nothcountrychamber.com