Chamber of Commerce lays off staff

Dear Valued Member,

I hope this message finds you healthy during these challenging and unprecedented times. Amid this global pandemic, everyone has been impacted and the Greater Watertown – North Country Chamber of Commerce is no exception. The challenges being faced by individuals, businesses, and communities are daunting and difficult to navigate.

For over 100 years, the Greater Watertown – North Country Chamber of Commerce has served our business community and through this crisis we are committed to be a champion for commerce and an advocate for our region. In response to the challenges of today and the uncertainties of tomorrow, our Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to take temporary measures and reduce our present operations so that we can serve our community for another hundred years to come.

Effective Monday, April 20, 2020, in an effort to ensure the future of the chamber, I will reduce my hours to a part-time capacity and all other staff members will be temporarily laid-off.

Over the past five weeks, our team has been working tirelessly on your behalf, serving as the voice of your business and all members. During this time, we have made efforts to stimulate the local economy, acted as an advocate for business across the region, offered virtual networking opportunities, and provided critical information and resources. For each request of support, we have made ourselves available and will continue our efforts in providing vital resources to the best of our ability during this time.

Like many businesses across the North Country, this unfortunate circumstance has placed a financial strain on our organization. The Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce relies on revenue generated from our events, programs and membership dues to fund operations and does not receive funding from outside sources such as municipalities through bed tax. Additionally, chambers of commerce, are not eligible for federal stimulus funds available to 501(c)3 non-profit organizations and other small businesses. Temporarily reducing our workforce will allow us to continue serving our business community once restrictions have been lifted and we look forward to bringing our full team back together.

The chamber will continue to help our members navigate this uncharted territory. I will remain focused on our mission of promoting and supporting business and industry and provide the best possible support for our members to strengthen our community – now and into the future.

Thank you again for your commitment and partnership. Together, we will tackle this challenge (and whatever the future may bring) and ensure the North Country will get through this difficult time and thrive.

For continued updates, resources and information, visit our website and follow us on social media. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact me at or call (315) 788-4400.

Please stay safe and healthy.


Kylie S. Peck
President & CEO
GWNC Chamber of Commerce


GWNC Chamber of Commerce communicates changes to operations

WATERTOWN, NY – The Greater Watertown – North Country Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will enact temporary changes to its operations. Effective Monday, April 20, 2020, Chamber President and CEO, Kylie Peck, with the support of the Board of Directors, will serve the business community on a limited basis to continue daily operations and business support; all other staff members will be laid-off temporarily.

The Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce does not receive funding from local municipalities and operates on revenue generated from programming, events, and membership dues. Given the financial strain placed on the organization due to the Covid-19 restraints paired with the reality that chambers of commerce and other organizations with 501(c)6 status are ineligible for funds available to 501(c)3 non-profit organizations and small businesses through the federal government stimulus package, the Board of Directors has made the proactive decision to reduce operational costs. In temporarily reducing staff, the organization will continue to serve the business community as an advocate and as a source of information and resources, while seeking opportunities for funding through this health and economic crisis.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and Chamber management, our goal is to serve as a resource to the business community and work together as we figure out what the new normal will look like.” said Laurie Podvin, BOD Chairwoman of the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce. “The organization will continue to inform and support businesses while adhering to the restrictions in place to the best of our ability. For over one-hundred years we have served our business community and we look forward to bringing our full staff back as quickly as we can.”

The Greater Watertown – North Country Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization which promotes and supports business and industry to enhance the community in which we live, work and do business.

For more information, please visit the Chamber website at or call (315) 788-4400.