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Chairman Franks to Convene Task Force to Aid Reopening of McHenry County Economy

Post Date:04/25/2020 12:01 PM

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks announced the creation of Resume McHenry County, a task force of local business, industry and health professionals to help ensure that the eventual reopening of the county’s businesses is successful and safe.

Franks, D-Marengo, said that the advice and counsel of longtime community businesspeople will be vital in the days and months ahead to determine what help the county can give, and what suggestions and requests it can make to Governor JB Pritzker, who extended his statewide stay-at-home order through the end of May to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“The fight to prevent the runaway spread of coronavirus has taken a huge toll on McHenry County’s businesses and workers. Many businesses have been forced to close or operate under significant restrictions, and many have been forced to furlough or lay off loyal employees. Resume McHenry County is a collaborative effort to discuss the best way to get businesses back on their feet while protecting employees and customers from the pandemic,” Franks said.

Resume McHenry County, the County Board and other local units of government cannot override the stay-at-home order or give permission for non-essential businesses to re-open or resume full service.

Joining Franks on the task force will be:

  • Patrick Kenneally, McHenry County State’s Attorney

  • Jim McConoughey, President, McHenry County Economic Development Corp.

  • Chuck Ruth, Owner, Alliance Contractors, Inc.

  • John Cain, Chairman and CEO, Scot Forge

  • Steven Slack, President & CEO, Home State Bank

  • John Rung, CEO, Shaw Media

  • Kay Rial Bates, President, McHenry Chamber of Commerce, County Board member

  • A representative to be named from Northwestern Medicine

  • An epidemiologist from the McHenry County Department of Health

Resume McHenry County’s first meeting, which will be conducted virtually to abide by social distancing measures, is tentatively set for 11 a.m. Thursday, April 30.

“I want to thank the community leaders who have stepped up and graciously volunteered their time to help brainstorm ways to restart McHenry County’s economic engine, depending on what form the end of the stay-at-home order takes,” Franks said. “In the meantime, I implore McHenry County’s business owners to pursue every federal, state and county resource that’s been made available to help them in this time of crisis.”

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

McHenry County on Wednesday unveiled its Small Business Stabilization Grant Program, which provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for small businesses with five or fewer employees, including the business owner, that meet the eligibility requirements. Information and application instructions can be found at www.mchenrycountyil.gov/SmallBusinessStabilization. The application deadline is May 8. 

McHenry County has set up a resource page at www.mchenrycountyil.gov/covid19resources for community members, businesses and nonprofits needing help as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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