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UPDATE: Paycheck Protection Program

The Small Business Administration and Treasury Department have released new information and guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The PPP will provide small businesses, private nonprofits, veteran organizations, self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and more with the funds necessary to sustain their operations and keep their workers employed.

Assistance will come in the form of loans that can be forgiven; forgiveness will be based on the borrower using the funds appropriately and maintaining or quickly rehiring employees while  also maintaining wage/salary levels.

These loans can be accessed through SBA approved lenders. It is our understanding that the following member banks and credit unions are SBA participating lenders:

The Treasury Department has announced that small businesses and sole proprietorships can begin applying on April 3rd and that independent contractors and self-employed individuals can begin applying on April 10th. We do, however, encourage you to first contact your financial institution to determine how and when they will begin accepting applications.

For more information on who can apply, how to apply, and loan details - click here.

For fact-sheets on the program and a sample application, click here.


Local & Regional COVID-19 Loan Funds

We’ve all heard about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) & the Emergency Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and many businesses have applied for assistance through those federal programs.

But here in the North Country we’ve always come up with creative solutions when disaster strikes and this crisis is no different. Several North Country organizations have created loan funds to help fill the gaps left between the assistance available through the U.S. government and the needs of local businesses. We’ve listed some below:

The funds include:

  • AEDC Disaster Microloan Program$5000 (higher amounts may be requested), 5% fixed interest, maximum loan term 6 years, deferred principal and interest for up to 6 months, available in 14 counties
  • Essex County COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program: Maximum loan $25,000, minimum loan interest 0%, maximum loan term 5 years, moratorium on principal and interest for 6 months, available in Essex County only
  • Franklin County Small Business Relief Loan Fund: $5,000-$25,000, base interest rate 4.25%, principal and interest moratorium for first 3 months then interest only for subsequent 6 months, open to businesses and 501(c)3 entities with under 100 employees, available in Franklin County only
  • Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board COVID-19 Micro-LoansWorking Capital, $5,000-$25,000, 5% fixed rate interest, first 6 months interest only, 24-60 month loan term, must show job retention, available in Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Warren and Washington counties.
  • North Country Alliance COVID-19 Emergency Business Relief Program: Maximum loan $25,000 based on demonstrated need for 6 months working capital, 5% interest, principal and interest moratorium for first 3 months then principal and interest only for subsequent 6 months, open to for-profit and not-for-profits entities with under 100 FTEs, available in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.

These are just the basics of the loan programs. Contact information and more about the terms, benefits, and eligibility criteria for each type of loan are listed on the fact sheets. Thank you to all of these organizations for quickly putting together these assistance programs for our small businesses and not-for-profit organizations.


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Announces a New Grant Fund
Businesses can apply for a $5000 Grant starting Monday April 20th

The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in an effort to help small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, has created the Save Small Business Fund. Eligible businesses can apply for a $5000 grant.

Click here to get the details and apply. 

To qualify, the business must:

  • Be in an economically vulnerable area.
    • Many areas of the North Country qualify. It’s easy to check to see your business is in a qualified community. Go to the US Chamber savesmallbusiness page and enter the zip code your business is located in. The site will immediately tell you if your community qualifies.
  • Employ between 3 and 20 people
  • Have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic

A short application will go live on April 20th at 3pm Eastern Standard time. Funds are limited so apply as soon as possible.

Click here to get the details and apply. 


Guidance on Requiring Face Coverings for Employees

For all essential businesses or entities, any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees. This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order pursuant to section 12 or 12-b of the Public Health Law. 

This requirement shall be effective Wednesday, April 15 at 8 p.m.  

Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” website for information on cloth face covers and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as instructions on use and cleaning. 

For full guidance and clarification from the Department of Health, click here.

To read the Executive Order, click here.


Employers/Employees:


Disaster Preparedness:


Other :


For more information on other Coronavirus related topics, visit our home page HERE.

Have questions? Let us know! Email us and we will do our best to find the answer.

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