The Latest COVID Updates for McHenry County – March 16, 2021
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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!
President Biden signs American Rescue Plan Act
President Biden Thursday signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law, which spends $1.9 trillion on COVID-19 pandemic relief.
Major aspects of the bill include:
Extending the $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit, which is in addition to state unemployment, through September.
Allocating $50 billion for small business assistance, which includes another $7.25 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program.
Spending $130 billion to help K-12 schools return to full-time, in-person instruction.
Providing another $25 billion in rental assistance, and another $5 billion in utility assistance, to help renters and landlords hurt by COVID-related unemployment.
Increasing the child tax credit for one year to $3,600 per child under age 6, and $3,000 for children up to age 17.
Spending another $160 billion for vaccine development, testing, and distribution.
The American Rescue Plan Act is on top of at least $4 trillion in stimulus and aid approved by Congress since the start of the pandemic.
Shuttered Venue Grant set for April Opening
The US Small Business Administration is now saying that the application portal for its long-awaited Shuttered Venue Operators grant program will be open in April.
Congress in December approved the Save our Stages Act, which allocated $15 billion for an industry decimated by COVID-19 mitigations that forbade or significantly curtailed public gatherings. However, the SBA needed time to implement the program, and changes were subsequently made to eligibility rules – the American Rescue Plan Act signed last week by President Biden adds more funding to the grant.
The grant is open to music venues, live theater venues, museums, small movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, and other attractions.
Eligibility rules changed with this new round include the following:
The loan calculation formula will be changed for independent contractors, sole proprietors, and self-employed individuals to increase their loan amounts.
The loan calculation formula will be changed as well to increase the loan amounts for small farmers and ranchers, matching the amount previously authorized by Congress.
Non-citizen business owners with green cards or who are here on a visa will be about to apply for loans with their Taxpayer Identification Number.
Business owners with past, nonfraud, felony convictions, and business owners who have defaulted on student loans, will be able to apply for PPP loans.
You can click here to find a list of SBA-approved participating lenders. Remember that businesses that received PPP loans under previous rounds 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 with Congress relaxing the criteria.
Rental Assistance Program going live next week
The online application portal for the McHenry County Emergency Utility and Rental Assistance Program is being tested this week, with an anticipated go-live date of Monday, March 22.
McHenry County received $9.1 million in federal COVID-19 stimulus funding to help qualified renters who have fallen behind on their rent or utility payments due to pandemic-related hardship. The program, approved by the County Board in February, 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 percent of their area median income – households at 50 percent 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.
Next county COVID-19 townhall set for March 23
From a potential Army National Guard vaccination site in McHenry County to President Biden’s deadline of May 1 for states to offer the vaccine to all adults who want it, there’s a lot to talk about.
McHenry County government and the McHenry County Department of Health are teaming up again to host a second online virtual town-hall meeting to update people and answer their questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
People who wish to submit questions ahead of time have until 4:30 pm this Friday to email them to QA@mchenrycountyil.gov.
You can click here to watch the original February 9 town-hall. The link includes a list of answers to the most common questions asked of the audience.
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:
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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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