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 advancement 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.
The wind’s building behind our sails!
McHenry County, just after entering Tier 2 mitigation last week, has entered Tier 1, which means a return of indoor dining and the loosening of other restrictions on our local businesses; you can learn more about what that means in this update. Community activities and sports can return, with capacity limits.
Our children are returning to school where they belong as more and more school districts return to in-person learning. Our teachers, along with our senior citizens, first responders, and many others will be inoculated against COVID-19 as the county’s vaccination program expands to Phases 1b and 1c.
We have real reason to be hopeful as momentum toward the end of the tunnel builds, and the best way we can keep it going is by continuing to follow IPDH and CDC guidelines to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
Welcome to Tier 1!
McHenry and Lake counties, which make up IDPH Region 9, officially advanced today to Tier 1 mitigations for COVID-19.
So, what’s that mean? A lot of good things!
First of all, restaurants can resume indoor service to 25% capacity or 25 persons per room; Tier 1 also increases capacity of meetings and gatherings to 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity. Restrictions have loosened further on organized sports and recreation, hotels can reopen further, and indoor fitness centers can increase to 50% capacity.
Even more restrictions will be loosened when Region 9 advances to Phase 4; remember that these tiered mitigations were imposed back in November to combat a surge in cases. Five of the state’s 11 recovery regions have already advanced to Phase 4, so we can, too, if we follow guidelines.
Indoor dining comes to McHenry County Restaurant Week!
The return of indoor dining with the return to Tier 1 mitigations is going to make McHenry County Restaurant Week even better!
Plans originally called for participating restaurants to offer takeout packages and other family-friendly deals between Friday, Feb. 19 and Sunday, Feb. 28. Visit McHenry County, which organizes the annual event, has reached out to participating restaurants to ensure that they also have dine-in specials available!
Watch our newsletter for details as they emerge so that we can do everything we can to support our local eateries.
Help us spread the word for our local restaurants to participate! They can sign up and receive more information 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.
A second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans opened Monday for small businesses hurt by the pandemic.
It’s important to note that businesses that received PPP loans under the first round are also eligible for loans under this new round. However, 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. It’s also advised that businesses that receive PPP loans apply for loan forgiveness as soon as possible.
You can learn more from the US Small Business Administration by clicking here. Collecting a PPP loan does not make a business ineligible for other state and local business assistance.
Health Department seeking signup for 1B/1C vaccinations
As McHenry County continues apace with vaccinating our front-line health care workers and nursing home staff and residents identified in Phase 1a of the state inoculation program, the McHenry County Department of Health is encouraging people identified in Phase 1b and 1c to fill out a vaccine enrollment form.
The form, which can be foundHERE, will help the MCDH determine the need. People who complete the enrollment form will be emailed additional information on how to schedule an appointment once clinics are made available. A comprehensive list of people eligible for vaccinations under Phase 1b and 1c, 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.
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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