CANTON, NY — The St. Lawrence County Reopening Task Force has been working to help provide guidance, answer questions and connect businesses with the resources needed to open safely and successfully. Realizing that there are a number of questions about what kind of businesses are approved to be open, and that the information and guidance changes almost daily, the task force is providing the following updates and reminders.
There are three primary responsibilities of any business which is currently open or planning for reopening:
One is to confirm that you are permitted to be open. Forward.ny.gov is the official New York State reopening site. It provides industry listings by Phase and offers a lookup tool for those who do not fit within the general industries outlined.
The Lookup Tool can be found on the site, or directly by
Two, every business is required to review and affirm the guidelines set by New York State for your industry. Under each industry outlined on Forward.ny.gov, a tab exists to verify that you have read and agree to the guidelines. This is an electronic form that will provide you with a page to print and keep on file.
Three, every business is required to have a reopening Safety Plan. New York State has provided template Business Safety Plans that can be customized to include the steps you are taking to keep your employees and customers safe. The plan must be shared with employees and made available for reference on site. The plan may change as time and guidelines progress. It should be updated and
used for training with staff.
The positive and safe reopening of our economy is the priority of the task force. Awareness of these guidelines, and reopening within the guidelines, will help keep our community safe and moving forward into future phases that will help bring life closer to normal.
In addition to the task force, the County has a committee to address any reports of non-compliance with the various public health and New York Pause orders. This committee consists of the County Administrator, Attorney, and Sheriff. Reports of non-essential gatherings or any non-approved businesses operating are made by calling a hotline number, 1-833-789-0470.
If reports are made, the County committee is making an effort to educate and raise the level of awareness, rather than penalize businesses. If necessary, the County Attorney will issue a letter to inform individuals or businesses that they are out of compliance. “If circumstances require that a direct response is needed, a communication can be initiated or a deputy could make a friendly visit with the intent of helping to clarify whether or not the business or individual are informed of the violation,” according to County Administrator Ruth Doyle. She continued, “People have been very responsive to the messages shared about compliance, we hope that continues as we move through the reopening phases.”
Again, businesses are encouraged to reference Forward.ny.gov for most accurate and updated information and guidelines, as well as to begin creating a generic safety plan using the state template in order to prepare for the opportunity to reopen.
If you would like help reviewing the guidance, please contact:
Small Business Development Center 315-386-7312, www.nyssbdc.org
St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce 315-386-4000, https://www.visitstlc.com/covid-19/
St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency 315-379-9806, www.slcida.com
St. Lawrence Cooperative Extension 315-379-9192, http://stlawrence.cce.cornell.edu/