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 open McHenry County. As always, MCEDC is here to help, if you have any questions or if we can be of service, please let us know.
Ok, campers, rise and shine!
Waking up trapped in the same nightmare scenario, morning after morning, day after day … sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?
Well, like we wrote last week, we have many reasons to be cautiously optimistic. The COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out, business restrictions have loosened even further with our move to Phase 4 mitigation, and as you’ll read below, the McHenry County Department of Health is expanding its vaccination program to educators in an effort to get our children and teachers back in school where they belong.
As long as we’re spreading good news, Woodstock didn’t let the pandemic get in the way of its annual Groundhog Day prognostication yesterday. And furthermore, Woodstock Willie didn’t see his shadow, which means an early spring.
Welcome to Phase 4 mitigation!
McHenry County advanced to Phase 4 mitigation today!
That means indoor dining can expand to parties of up to 10 people (with at least 6 feet between groups), and bars that don’t serve food can reopen under the same guideline. High school sports at the conference and intra-region levels are allowed. Select indoor recreation facilities, such as bowling alleys and skating rinks can reopen, and capacity of meetings and gatherings can increase to 50 people or 50 percent of room capacity.
Again, we can’t rest on our laurels, so now is not the time to let up our guard – let’s keep physically distancing, washing our hands, and wearing our masks so we keep moving forward, and not take any steps back.
The McHenry County Department of Health last Friday unveiled its preliminary timetable to begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to school personnel, which is a vital step as our school districts prepare for a return to in-person learning.
Under the plan, the MCDH will start inoculating school staff starting Feb. 11 and 12. Woodstock North High School and Huntley High School will serve as the primary points of distribution for the vaccine, with the help of the MCDH Medical Reserve Corps, school nurses, and qualified volunteers from across McHenry County.
The MCDH is beginning to inoculate seniors ages 65 and older who enrolled through the MCDH website, in partnership with local hospital systems and private pharmacies. The enrollment form for seniors can be found HERE; people who complete the enrollment form will be emailed additional information on how to schedule an appointment once clinics are available.
A comprehensive list of people eligible for vaccinations under Phase 1b, as well as a wealth of other information on the vaccine, can be found at the MCDH vaccine webpage, where they also can sign up for an e-newsletter (like this one) to receive the latest updates.
Virtual town hall meeting on vaccination
The public has a lot of questions about the county’s vaccination plan – and the county has answers.
County government and the McHenry County Department of Health will be hosting a virtual town hall meeting streamed on Facebook Live from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9. County Board Chairman Mike Buehler, Public Health Administrator Melissa Adamson, Director of Nursing Susan Karras, and County Board Public Health and Community Services Committee Chairwoman Lori Parrish will be on hand to respond to the public’s questions and concerns.
While viewers can submit their questions via chat during the live stream, the county is encouraging people to submit them early via email at QA@mchenrycountyil.gov.
Illinois establishes COVID-19 business navigator program
Illinois is spending $3.4 million to expand community navigator outreach programs and technical assistance to help businesses take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program and other business assistance programs set to launch soon.
The navigator program builds on the system the state piloted when it rolled out its Business Interruption Grant, which awarded $275 million to almost 9,000 small businesses statewide. In the coming weeks, more than $35 billion will be allocated through the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan, and the new Shuttered Venue Operators grant program.
We will provide information about the navigation program and these additional economic lifelines as it becomes available.
As a reminder, you can learn more about the PPP by clicking here, and you can click here to find a list of SBA-approved participating lenders. Remember that businesses that received PPP loans under the first round are also eligible for loans under this new round. It’s advised that said businesses use the same bank for the sake of expediency because many more businesses are eligible for this second round because Congress relaxed the criteria.
McHenry County Restaurant Week is growing!
McHenry County Restaurant Week continues to get better as it attracts more participants – to say nothing of the easing of restrictions under Phase 4 mitigation.
Restaurants throughout McHenry County are offering family-friendly takeout and dine-in deals between Friday, Feb. 19 and Sunday, Feb. 28.
We will update you with changes as they emerge so that we can do everything we can to support our local eateries.
Help Visit McHenry County, which organizes the annual event, to spread the word for our local restaurants to participate! They can sign up and receive more information at by clicking here.
Take advantage of the Harvard/Woodstock Enterprise Zone
Construction season is coming, and 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 real-estate tax abatement of 100% for four years, 50% for two years, and 25% for the final two years.
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.
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!
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.
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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