More good news updates for McHenry County

Resume McHenry County Update!

Through our collaboration with McHenry County, we will continue to share important information on stimulus programs, PPP loans, COVID-19 updates and more through its Resume McHenry County Updates.
Please take a moment to scroll down to see new advancements this week as we move to open 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!


McHenry County now using state vaccine registration page

If you work in manufacturing, the restaurant business or the construction trades, you’re now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
You can help us get beyond mitigations by getting inoculated, so please read on to learn how to sign up.
The McHenry County Department of Health is now using the state’s COVID-19 vaccine registration page in the wake of the state’s expansion of Phase 1b eligibility.
Residents wanting the vaccine should visit the Illinois Covid Vaccination website and do so frequently as new appointment options are posted regularly, and are expected to fill up quickly.
Anyone who already has received their first vaccine through MCDH will receive an email directing them how to schedule their second appointment when it is due.
People without Internet or who need translation services can schedule an appointment through the MCDH Call Center at 815-334-4045, or by calling the Illinois Department of Public Health hotline at 833-621-1284.
The MCDH will be working as fast as possible to accommodate people in the expanded Phase 1b group until April 12, when vaccine eligibility will open to all Illinois residents age 16 and over.
Retail pharmacies are another option for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Locations of participating pharmacies can be found at, or in the MCDH vaccine locator page at The MCDH has included a step-by-step video that walks you through the registration process.
This new system was explained at a virtual town-hall meeting streamed on the Facebook pages of McHenry County government and the health department. If you missed it, you can click here to watch it and to read a list of answers to the most common questions asked of our experts.


Rental Assistance Program Up and Running

Qualified renters who have fallen behind on their rent or utilities because of pandemic-related hardship can now apply for relief through the McHenry County Emergency Utility and Rental Assistance Program.
The online application portal, which went live yesterday, can be found at Renters who do not have Internet access can call the McHenry County Housing Authority at 815-338-7752, or Consumer Credit Counseling Services at 815-338-5757 for Spanish speakers. It is anticipated that the web portal will soon have a translation function for Spanish and other commonly spoken languages.
McHenry County received $9.1 million in federal COVID-19 stimulus funding to help qualified renters. The assistance program aims to reduce or eliminate pandemic-related evictions, prevent homelessness, avoid damaged credit that could hurt future housing opportunities for renters, and repair landlord/tenant relationships strained because of lack of payment.
Renters who qualify (and landlords can apply, too) can receive rent and utility assistance for up to six months in arrears, and up to three months in advance. Awarded funds are paid directly to the landlord or the utility company.
Qualifying households must be at or below 80% of their area median income – households at 50% or lower or that include dependents or seniors 62 years and older will get priority. They also must be able to demonstrate a loss of income or employment as a result of COVID-19. Immigration status is not a factor in determining eligibility.
More information on the program can be found on the online portal. Please help us spread the word to get this assistance out to people in need.


Mental health is good for business

The Resume McHenry County newsletter is filled every week with information about financial assistance, grants, tax benefits, and other news that business and government leaders need to know to get our economy moving again.
However, we can’t afford to overlook the mental health of employees – and business owners – who have been through a tumultuous year filled with uncertainty.
The graphic to the left, which you can click on to expand, lays it out plain – mental health is good for business.
Besides the tips at the bottom of the graphic, McHenry County is blessed with a dedicated and responsive network of social service agencies. Most are now offering both virtual and in-person services, and they’re ready to help you and your employees.
You can find a comprehensive directory of services on the website of the McHenry County Mental Health Board at People who need help in McHenry County can get in touch with these services by calling 211, or by downloading the McHelp App – click here to learn more and to download it to your smart phone.
Mental health, unfortunately, carries a stigma that can make it hard for people to discuss or open up about. Let’s do our part in spreading the word that help is out there and no one has to struggle alone.

Shuttered venue grant applications open April 8

The US Small Business Administration will start accepting applications for its long-awaited Shuttered Venue Operators grant program on April 8.
We’ve been watching closely for an opening date since the program was created in December – this is great news for a live entertainment industry that has been decimated by public gathering restrictions imposed to limit COVID-19’s spread.
The grant is open to music venues, live theater venues, museums, small movie theaters, zoos, aquariums and other attractions. Eligible applicants can qualify for grants equal to 45 percent of their gross earned revenue. Entities that suffered the greatest economic loss will have top priority, starting with those that suffered a 90 percent or greater revenue loss between April and December 2020. Entities that suffered 70 percent or greater loss will have second-tier priority, and those that suffered 25 percent or greater loss will have third-tier priority.
Grant funds can be used to cover payroll, rent, utilities, scheduled mortgage payments, worker-protection expenditures, and other expenses. Any venue or promoter that received a Paycheck Protection Program loan on or after Dec. 27, 2020, will have their grant reduced by the PPP loan amount.
You can learn more by visiting the SBA’s page regarding the grant – as well as sign up for e-notification once the application portal opens – by clicking here.

FCC launching broadband benefit program

The FCC is launching the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to provide eligible households struggling to pay for Internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic with discounts off of their monthly broadband bills and certain electronic devices.
The program, paid for by $3.2 billion in stimulus funding, could be open to applications as soon as May 1.
The benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 a month towards broadband service for eligible households, which can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute between $10 and $50 toward the purchase price.
A household is eligible if it qualifies for the FCC’s Lifeline program for low-income consumers, receives free- or reduced-price school lunch or breakfast program received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year, meets eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 assistance program, or experienced a substantial loss of income since Feb. 29, 2020 (households have to have a total income for 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers).
We will follow this program as details develop and an application start date is announced. Until then, you can learn more about the program by clicking here.


Visiting McHenry County? There’s an app (and newsletter) for that!

Our friends at Visit McHenry County have done yeoman’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic to help encourage people to safely shop and dine local.
Did you know they put out a newsletter of their own? And did you know they have an app to help you plan your McHenry County staycation?
You can subscribe to their monthly e-newsletter, The Insider, by clicking here. If you like nature walks and good locally brewed craft beer – and would like to experience what it’s like pairing them together – the April edition that just came out is a must-read.
Visit McHenry County also has an app that allows you to explore what McHenry County has to offer, including dining, activities, lodging, and more. You can download it from Google Play here, and from the Apple App Store here.

Take advantage of the Harvard/Woodstock Enterprise Zone

Spring is here, which means construction season is here, too. If you intend to build in Harvard or Woodstock, you can take advantage of the Harvard/Woodstock Enterprise Zone.
Benefits include sales tax exemptions on building materials and a half-percent deduction of the total project cost from state taxes. Also, depending on where you build or expand in the zone, your business can receive a potential eight-year abatement of the municipal government portion of its real-estate tax bill of 100% for four years, 50% for two years, and 25% for the final two years.
For more information, visit (no www before it), or contact Enterprise Zone Administrator Charles Eldredge at 779-302-8533, or by email at
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


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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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© 2020 McHenry County Economic Development Corporation | MCEDC is a 501c6 entity. MCED Foundation is a 501c3 entity.