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8/3/2020   - North Country Chamber of Commerce Editoral

No business should be left behind. That has been our Chamber's aim from the start of the shutdown in March, and we remain committed to working with every business in our region who we can try to assist through information, guidance, safety training, direct assistance and advocacy.
Most of our business sectors have been allowed to re-open, at least on a limited basis, and they have overwhelmingly demonstrated their commitment to doing things safely and correctly. But a handful of business sectors are now approaching month five of total closure with no indication of a target timeline or the provision of guidelines which would at least allow them to begin preparations. These businesses are in increasing danger of in fact being left behind, and they include gyms, movie theaters, and indoor amusements such as bowling alleys, among a few others.
We continue to communicate regularly with the Governor's office and others, restating the growing hardship to these business owners and what we know to be their readiness to comply with whatever the re-opening standards are. The answer is routinely that there is nothing new to share. 
Last week, in an attempt to query in a different way, I asked if efforts were underway aimed at developing guidelines in anticipation of an intended green light at some point or if, to the contrary, there was a "hard pause" perhaps prompted by what's happening elsewhere. I was assured there was no "hard pause". But the days and weeks continue and what is most frustrating for these businesses is the lack of communication.
We will continue to call for communication and guidelines, as we remain committed to doing all we can to "leave no business behind".
Garry Douglas
North Country Chamber of Commerce

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