Deadline is looming for specialty crop grants of more than $783K

Resume McHenry County Update!

Through our collaboration with McHenry County, we will continue to share important information on stimulus programs, COVID-19 updates, and where the county is opening up through Resume McHenry County Updates.
Please take a moment to scroll down to see new advancements this week as more and more are opening up in McHenry County. If MCEDC can be of any help, please call. Forward this email to your friends and family to help get the word out!


Advance McHenry County is Advancing!

McHenry County government held informative town-hall meetings over the past week to explain the Advance McHenry County program to qualified agencies, and to walk them through the application process.
Both presentations were videotaped, and have been uploaded to McHenry County government’s YouTube page. Click here to watch the Nov. 9 presentation for local governments and nonprofit agencies, and click here to watch the presentation given yesterday to potential infrastructure and workforce development applicants.
Advance McHenry County, created by the McHenry County Board, is designed to put $59.7 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to work in the community. Of the nearly $30 million set to be distributed in the first phase, $14 million will be allocated to environment and infrastructure projects, $8 million will be allocated to workforce development and jobs programs, and $3 million each will be set aside for nonprofits and local governments that did not receive ARPA funding.
Groups can apply for funding on the Advance McHenry County webpage at You can visit the website for more information, or click here to watch a brief video by County Board Chairman Mike Buehler explaining the program. If you still have questions, you can email them to
McHenry County is already getting applications for interesting and diverse projects, so visit the Advance portal and apply!


Alpaca farm honored with Illinois Made small business honor

A Wonder Lake alpaca farm has put McHenry County on the unique business map!
Magic Meadows Alpaca is one of 28 new small businesses to be honored by the Illinois Office of Tourism as being a ‘Maker’ under the Illinois Made program. The program recognizes businesses that are hidden gems offering unique products and experiences for locals and visitors alike to discover.
And, ladies and gentlemen, you don’t get much more unique than Magic Meadows’ alpaca yoga.
Also winning recognition under Illinois Made is MORE Brewing Company in Huntley, which is just over the line in Kane County. Congratulations to them as well!
You can visit Magic Meadows’ website here, and read their writeup in Enjoy Illinois here. And don’t forget to follow them on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest!
The Illinois Made program was launched in 2016 to inspire residents and visitors to discover people, products and experiences created by unique small businesses. Magic Meadows and MORE Brewing join more than 200 small business from across Illinois. To learn more, visit
On a final note, hats off to Visit McHenry County for nominating Magic Meadows for the honor!


Deadline looming for specialty crop grants

Specialty crop growers have until Monday, Nov. 29 to apply for a Specialty Crop Block grant from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
The state plans to award more than $783,000 in grant funding over the next three years in an effort to expand the availability of fresh, locally grown produce, as well as strengthen Illinois’ specialty crop industry, and support organizations that assist farm workers and food businesses.
More information about the program, as well as proposal packets, can be found on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website, or by emailing
Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, local and government entities, trade and commodity associations and public and private colleges and universities. Illinois is encouraging applications that benefit small farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, veteran producers, and under served communities.
Projects that benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual are ineligible.
Farmer’s markets, roadside stands and community-sponsored agriculture programs should consider submitting proposals to the USDA’s Farmers’ Market and Local Food Promotion Program. You can learn more about that program by clicking here.


MCC offering apprenticeship open houses

This week, Nov. 15 through Nov. 21, is National Apprenticeship Week – a nationwide observance of how apprenticeships contribute to rebuilding our economy, advancing equity and supporting under served communities.
In honor of the seventh annual national observance, we’d like to highlight McHenry County College’s ongoing efforts to help our business and manufacturing sectors by pairing talented, motivated youth with employers so they can “learn while they earn.”
The college is holding virtual open houses throughout the winter for people who want to pursue an associate of applied science degree in engineering technology, with the specializations of industrial maintenance technician and computer numerical control (CNC) machinist professional.
The next open houses are scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11. You can register for the December open house here, and the January open house here.
Other open houses are scheduled through May, so keep visiting MCC’s apprenticeships webpage for new registration links and new programs. For more information, contact MCC Career Services at 815-455-8566, or email

State has $200M available for LIHEAP utility assistance

Do you or someone you know need help with paying utility bills? The state is accepting applications through the end of May for assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Since September, more than $84 million in payments through LIHEAP have been approved for 77,000 households in Illinois. More than $200 million remains available to help cover the cost of heating and energy bills.
You can apply for LIHEAP assistance, and learn more about other state programs aimed at helping Illinois residents navigate these tough times, at
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is hosting two virtual events to assist interested households with applying for LIHEAP aid:
·    6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17 (English) – Click here to register
·    6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18 (Spanish) – Click here to register
Both meetings also will be streamed on Facebook live on the page of the Citizens Utility Board, which can be found at
McHenry County has its own program, the McHenry County Emergency Utility and Rental Assistance Program, to distribute funding to renters who are having trouble keeping up with, or are behind on, their rent and/or utilities. You can learn more, and apply for aid, by visiting


Turkey Testicle Festival returns to Huntley

With the lifting of COVID-19 capacity restrictions earlier this year, Resume McHenry County is featuring the return of its iconic and traditional attractions, and the founding of new ones.
After being canceled last year on account of COVID-19, turkey testicles are back on the Thanksgiving menu in Huntley.
The 39th Huntley Turkey Testicle Festival takes place starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24 – the day before Thanksgiving – at Parkside Pub, 11721 Main St.
From 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., attendees will enjoy live music and good drink while they snack on the unconventional appetizer that has become an institution known statewide.
General admission tickets can be bought at the door for $20. An all-access VIP pass for $75 can be purchased in advance by clicking here – benefits include no-wait entry, a commemorative long-sleeve shirt, a VIP bar and being able to hang out with the bands between sets.


We hope we got your attention. We need your help reaching more McHenry County residents and businesses to share this important information about the COVID-19 response and connect them with vital resources.
Please take these four steps:
1. Share/forward to your email/newsletter contacts.
2. Post information to your website.
3. Follow us on social media (see below); share our posts with your followers.
4. If you are not on the McHenry County Constant Contact list, please subscribe here


Follow McHenry County Government On Social Media

Staying connected and informed is more important now than ever! Follow McHenry County on social media for regular updates on COVID-19 in our region, resources to help you navigate the pandemic, safety tips and more!


What is Resume McHenry County?

Resume McHenry County is a collaborative initiative being implemented by McHenry County and the McHenry County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) in partnership with the McHenry County community, including cities and villages, businesses and residents. The goal is to ensure a successful reopening of our economy so that we can return to our lifestyles safely and responsibly.

About McHenry County

McHenry County is rich in resources for both business and residents. Close to world-class metropolitan areas, transportation, education, entertainment, and recreational activities, there is something for everyone.

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© 2022 McHenry County Economic Development Corporation | MCEDC is a 501c6 entity. MCED Foundation is a 501c3 entity.