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McHenry County Unveils $5,000 Emergency Grant Program for Small Businesses

Post Date:04/23/2020 10:14 AM

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – McHenry County businesses with five or fewer employees are now eligible for up to $5,000 in emergency grants to help them face the challenges caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.

The new Small Business Stabilization Grant Program provides one-time grants for small businesses with five or fewer employees, including the business owner, that meet the eligibility requirements. The application deadline is May 8, with the funds expected to be available in June.

Businesses can apply by visiting and filling out a pre-approval form. The county has been awarded $250,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the advocacy of the office of U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood.

“We have to do everything we can to ensure that our small businesses – the lifeblood of the U.S. economy – weather this terrible storm,” County Board Chairman Jack Franks, D-Marengo, said. “This grant funding gives us a small tool which could help make the difference for mom-and-pop businesses that do not have access to federal assistance and are struggling to stay afloat.”

Eligible businesses must be private, for-profit and not be part of a franchise. They also must be able to demonstrate that they do not have access to emergency assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration, such as its Paycheck Protection Program or Emergency Injury Disaster Loan program. The business must also meet certain criteria regarding owner and employee income that is available on the website.

Qualifying businesses can spend the money on working capital, marketing and planning, technical training, machinery and equipment, and other small business stabilization costs.

“I want to thank Representative Underwood for securing this funding, and I urge every small business that meets the requirements to apply,” Franks said. “Every little bit helps, and we cannot let our small job creators that don’t qualify for other relief programs fall through the cracks.”

McHenry County has set up a resource page at for community members, businesses and nonprofits needing help as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following websites also contain information about programs geared toward helping small businesses and their employees:

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