PLATTSBURGH, NY- During a visit to Plattsburgh businesses trying to recover from the COVID-19 shut down, North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik blamed the state for making it harder for the companies to come back.

“The cost of doing business in New York state continues to be very high which is why I’m focused on continuing to address regulations and lower tax burdens on our businesses so they can reinvest in the community,” said Stefanik.

Stefanik is up for re-election in New York’s 21st Congressional District, and will face Democrat Tedra Cobb in November. The two have raised a total of more than $10 million for their campaigns.

Donny Phaneuf is the owner of Lake Champlain Roofing in Plattsburgh. He says his company went from 18 roofers to 11 roofers which Donny says makes a big impact. However, Phaneuf said they are one of the lucky ones due to the low number of COVID cases in Clinton County. They also had everything booked a year in advance.

“With so low cases here, I’ve talked to other roofers in different areas that this completely effected them a lot bigger,” said Phaneuf.

However, there are still issues he faces with his company, including the price of his insurance.

“Being in New York we have different insurance than all the other states and we have different laws, and those laws make it difficult to even want to do business here. If I were in Pennsylvania or Connecticut, or anywhere else it would be less than half,” said Phaneuf.

Stefanik. said, “We need to change the leadership in Albany and make sure we have leaders in Albany that understand small businesses, and specifically understand the differences between downstate New York and here in the North Country.

Phaneuf is backing Stefanik, hoping she can help.

“It’s tough on everybody I believe, and I think her being up here is just going to bring it to her forethought,” he said.