The latest COVID updates from Resume 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!

 

Self-employed, gig workers benefit under new PPP guidelines

 

New Paycheck Protection Program guidelines released last week allow for larger loans for self-employed and gig workers.
The changes come in the wake of the Biden administration’s late February updates to PPP rules, which are aimed at helping businesses that either had a difficult time applying for or were ineligible to apply for, previous rounds.
For more information on these PPP updates, qualifications for first- and second-time borrowers, and the loan forgiveness process, please review the SBA’s website by clicking here.
The application period for this current third round of PPP loans expands effective tomorrow (Wednesday, March 10) to all eligible businesses – it was limited in the first weeks of its opening to businesses with 20 or fewer employees.
Several 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.
Eligible businesses have until March 31 to apply for this latest round but are encouraged to apply as soon as possible while funding is still available.
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.

 

Self-employed PUA benefits reduced

A drop in Illinois’ unemployment rate means that residents can no longer seek the seven additional weeks of federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which was created to cover the self-employed and those who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits.
Illinois’ unemployment rate has fallen below the threshold for the state’s High Unemployment Period to be active, according to a news release from Governor Pritzker’s office. Residents living in states that are in the HUP get seven additional weeks of PUA eligibility, and seven additional weeks added to their extended benefits eligibility.
The PUA program, first established by Congress at the start of the lockdowns last March, offers benefits to the self-employed, individual workers, gig workers, and others not covered by traditional unemployment insurance benefits.
This reduces the maximum availability to 50 weeks for PUA claimants, and to 13 weeks for extended benefits.
Barring additional federal action or extensions, PUA claimants who have exhausted their 50 weeks will no longer be eligible to collect unemployment insurance benefits. The Illinois Department of Employment Security is monitoring the situation and will advise if Congress extends benefits.

Rental Assistance Program update

Work is proceeding apace to get the McHenry County Emergency Utility and Rental Assistance Program off the ground.
The Treasury Department relaxed program guidelines at the end of February, making it easier to serve clients. This week, the McHenry County Community Development Department and the McHenry County Housing Authority will be working with the online application system with the service provider, and will be setting a target “go-live” date.
The program will allow qualified McHenry County renters who are behind on their rent or utilities because of the COVID-19 pandemic to tap into $9.1 million in federal COVID-19 stimulus. The 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 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.
The county and the housing authority are optimistic about a mid-March launch, and the goal is to get this money out as quickly as possible. Until then, people who have questions about the program can email McHenryCountyComDev@mchenrycountyil.gov.
As soon as the mechanics are established, we will include them in our newsletter so our Resume McHenry County partners can help spread the word.

More state and local vaccination sites

The Harvard Moose Family Center is set to become another location for the McHenry County Department of Health to inoculate people once the supply of vaccine becomes more reliable. Last month, the City of McHenry partnered with its local business community and the MCDH to open a mass vaccination center at the former Kmart to ramp up COVID-19 inoculations.
The MCDH is offering inoculations by appointment only to people who have enrolled through MCDH. The enrollment form can be accessed online at this website or through its COVID-19 Call Center at 815-334-4045.
It’s very important to note that the county’s vaccination efforts are hampered by the limited supply of vaccines. McHenry County is making every effort to get residents inoculated, but vaccine supplies are limited. Many of the doses the MCDH receives from the state are shared with its community health partners throughout the county so that Phase 1a and 1b recipients, starting with first responders and those 65 and older, have closer and faster access – the remaining doses are utilized by the MCDH for its vaccination clinics.
The health department has also launched a COVID-19 vaccine locator page to help residents become aware of vaccine opportunities in McHenry County, which can be found HERE. The State of Illinois is also partnering with retail pharmacies such as Walgreens and Jewel-Osco to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. Information about where and how to schedule an appointment with these pharmacies is available at coronavirus.Illinois.gov.

 

McHenry County’s next COVID-19 town hall meeting

Mark your calendars – McHenry County government and the McHenry County Department of Health will be teaming up again to host a second online virtual town-hall meeting to update people and answer questions regarding the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The next town-hall meeting will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 23. Like the first one, it will be live-streamed on the Facebook pages of McHenry County government and the McHenry County Department of Health. A Facebook account is not necessary to watch it.
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:
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.
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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.

620 Dakota Street, Crystal Lake, IL 60012 | ( 815) 893-0895
info@mcedc.com

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