helping keep our communities safe with timely, accurate information

Mask Distribution FINAL smallCOVID-19 Updates and Resources
Your Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce is working hard to keep you up-to-date during this challenging time. Below is a catalog of resources we believe will be helpful to you and your business/organization. If you’re looking for something you don’t find here, please contact the Chamber at 607-535-4300.

Updates from Schuyler County and Schuyler County Public Health

Tools and Resources to address Covid-19 issues and challenges.

These updates, documents, tool, links and resources are for the public, members of the chamber and visitors as needed and we will do our best to post information as we receive it. 

Off the Press:

1/12/2021 Raising the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund: In an effort to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Raising the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund, a New York State Recovery Grant Program, offers reimbursement grants for up to $5,000 to eligible businesses. The program is intended to support full-service restaurants – the industry hit hardest by the pandemic – during the winter months when outdoor dining is limited and as restaurants adjust to New York State’s COVID-19 safety measures. The Raising the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund is a partnership between New York State, Diageo Wine & Spirits, Southern Glazer Wines & Spirits and The National Development Council (NDC). Restaurants can apply to the Raising the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund starting Monday, January 11, 2021 at 12pm. The link for the online application will be posted to Empire State Development (ESD), Diageo , Southern Glazer and NDC webpages. The online grant portal will close temporarily should the number of applications exceed funding availability. If grant funding remains available due to the exclusion of ineligible applications, the online grant portal will be re-opened following an announcement by the Empire State Development. Any program announcements and/or updates will be posted to ESD Website.

6/4/2020 Outdoor dining is permitted in Phase 2 of New York Reopening. For more information, visit,in%20Phase%20Two%20Of%20Reopening&text=Governor%20Andrew%20M.%20Cuomo%20today,in%20phase%20two%20of%20reopening.

6/3/2020 Outdoor, low-risk recreational activities and business are permitted in Phase 2. For more information, visit

5/22/2020 The Governor announced The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF), a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE. For more information, visit

5/16/2020 Governor Cuomo Announces Horse Racing Tracks Statewide and Watkins Glen International Racetrack Will be Allowed to Open Without Fans as of June 1st.

5/15/2020  PHASE 1 Businesses, please be sure to read the “Detailed Guidelines” for your industry and provide your digital signature affirming that you have read and understand the document.

4/26/2020 Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today outlined a phased plan to re-open New York and re-imagine a new normal for the state starting with construction and manufacturing. To learn more, visit

From the Governor’s Office:

From Empire State Development:

From the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

From the Small Business Association (SBA):

Your Reopening Plan: 
PHASE 1 Businesses, please be sure to read the “Detailed Guidelines” for your industry and provide your digital signature affirming that you have read and understand the document.

Here are some samples that can guide you through the process of creating your Reopening Plan.

Need Masks? The Chamber will be distributing masks to Schuyler County businesses during the hours of 10am and 2pm on Mondays and noon and 4pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. To arrange pickup, please call 607-535-4300.

Need window signage? The Chamber can provide your business with window signage as long as your Reopening Plan is complete. Please call 607-535-4300 for more information.

Local Response:

Best Practices:

Human Resources Support:

Accountant Support:

Health-Related Updates:

Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Are self-employed and independent contractors eligible for unemployment benefits?
A: Yes.

Q: How can I sign up for Coronavirus Updates from Governor Cuomo’s office?
A: Sign up for email updates from New York State with critical information on the Coronavirus Pandemic:

Q: Where do I as­­k business-related questions that the Chamber team can’t assist with?
A: Empire State Development has a new, easy to use online form for COVID-19-Related Business questions.

Q: Are there seminars/conference calls that I can take part in to educate myself on my personal and business needs?
A: Yes, please like the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page for that information.