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Read what’s happening in McHenry County’s McH THRIVE

McH THRIVE Update!

Resume McHenry County becomes McH THRIVE!

With the end of the state and federal COVID-19 states of emergency, it’s time to stop talking about resuming life as normal and dedicate it to moving ahead, together, better than before.

We deserve the opportunity that lies before us… our manufacturers and small businesses, our workforce, our tourism industry, our agriculture and agritourism sectors and our economic development agencies and chambers of commerce… all of us deserve the opportunity to THRIVE!

Thank you for reading and subscribing to the new McH THRIVE! You can help us continue to grow by forwarding this email to people who you think would enjoy it. They can subscribe by visiting or on social media.


Time running out to sign up for Merry McHenry County giveaway

You only have until this Friday, November 10, to enroll in Naturally McHenry County’s annual Merry McHenry County Holiday Giveaway!

What does the lucky winner receive this year? A two-night stay for up to five guests at Hampton Inn McHenry the weekend of November 17-19, a trip to the McHenry Downtown Cocoa Crawl and Living Windows display, a carload ticket and VIP parking for a Christmas double feature at McHenry Outdoor Theater, up to five tickets to Volo Auto Museum, and a free 8-foot balsam or Canaan fir Christmas Tree from Conifera Tree Farm.

Sound like a great couple of days? Then click here to visit Naturally McHenry County’s website and apply. And remember – the deadline is approaching fast!


McHenry County is well-represented on business delegation to Japan

McHenry County Board Chairman Mike Buehler joined a 30-strong delegation from World Business Chicago to visit Japan to tout the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership and forge even closer economic and business ties with one of Chicagoland’s largest trading partners.

During the five-day trip, Chairman Buehler met with more than 130 businesses – including an impressive million-square-foot public-private innovation center – and had the opportunity to see how high-tech developments such as advanced robotics and hydrogen production will help shape our future.

There are more than 500 Japanese facilities in the Chicagoland region, and Japan is its third-largest source of foreign direct investment; Japan also is Chicago’s second-largest export partner and fifth-largest import partner. As the sole collar county elected officials in the delegation, Chairman Buehler and Lake County Chairwoman Sandy Hart represented us well and informed their hosts of the opportunities that our counties offer.

McHenry County joined Chicago, Cook County and five other neighboring counties earlier this year to launch the GCEP and form a united regional economic strategy, which you can learn more about here.

So to Chairman Buehler and World Business Chicago, we offer a heartfelt domo arigato gozaimasu for representing us so well!


State launches $15.4 million tourism grant program

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has launched two grant programs, totaling $15.4 million, to attract, develop, and improve new and existing tourism projects.

The $10.8 million Tourism Attractions Grant program will provide funding to develop and improve attractions such as museums, recreation areas, amusement parks, and more. The application deadline is 5 p.m. December 18, and you can learn more and apply by clicking here.

The Tourism Private Sector Grant program, totaling $4.6 million, will provide funding to attract, host, or develop new events and festivals across Illinois. The application deadline is 5 p.m. December 4, and you can learn more and apply by clicking here.

Awards of up to $500,000 are available through both grants, but a one-to-one funding match is required.


Disability Job Fair is a success once again

Ninety-four job seekers visited with seven employers and 10 service providers at the Disability Job Fair on October 5.

The job fair, held at the McHenry County College Shah Center, connects people with any type of disability with employers looking to hire. The fair, which takes place twice a year, is a partnership between the McHenry County Workforce Network and McHenry County College, as well as various state agencies.

The job fair was preceded by a virtual workshop geared toward employers that educates them about the merits of hiring people with disabilities; if you missed it, you can watch the video by clicking here.


Woodstock business incubator newest addition

Congratulations to Seleta Scents for being the second startup business to participate in the City of Woodstock’s retail incubator program!

The eco-friendly soy candle and aroma business is no stranger to visitors to the Farmers Market+ at the Dole and other area markets, but next week, it will open in the Old Courthouse Center on Woodstock Square.

The incubator program, THE 101, provides a physical retail location for startup or online businesses ready to take on the challenge of operating a brick-and-mortar location. Participants gain retail experience under the mentorship of the City of Woodstock and the Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Seleta Scents joins vinyl records business The Records Department, which moved in earlier this year. Both will occupy their spaces through spring 2025.


McHenry Festival of Trees raising funds for veterans’ charity

Once again, the McHenry Festival of Trees returns to offer a beautiful, colorful feast for the eyes that raises money to help our needy veterans.

Organized by the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce, the McHenry Recreation Center, at 3636 Memorial Drive, will be home to beautifully decorated trees, each sponsored and decorated by a local business. The display opens November 17, and lasts until December 30.

To vote for your favorite, bring canned non-perishable food or toiletries to place beneath the tree during business hours. All the goods collected during the contest will be donated to Veterans Path to Hope. The organization with the winning tree gets bragging rights and free entry for next year’s event.

To learn more, and to sign your business or civic group up to participate, click here.


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What is McH Thrive?

McH Thrive 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.