Chairman Franks Urges Residents to Support Local Businesses
WOODSTOCK, Ill. – With restrictions under the Restore Illinois plan set to loosen on Friday, County Board Chairman Jack Franks is urging residents to support local businesses as they start to re-open.
McHenry County and the rest of Illinois are set to enter Phase Three - "Recovery" - of Governor Pritzker's five-phase Restore Illinois plan to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional businesses will be able to open, and additional activities will be permitted, under safety guidelines such as physical distancing and wearing a mask.
“Local businesses are the heart and soul of our communities,” Franks, D-Marengo, said. “They’ve always been there to support us – our schools, our amateur sports teams, our civic organizations – when we needed them. They, and their employees who rely on them to provide for their families, now need our support more than ever, and it’s our turn to be there for them.”
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has created online tool kits to help businesses and employers safely reopen and keep employees and customers safe. Each of these tool kits include health guidelines, posters, signage, social media graphics and other helpful items.
The new guidelines under Phase 3 span 10 different categories of industry. The embedded links will take you straight to each individual tool kit:
- Restaurants and Bars: Full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants, taverns, and other food and beverage businesses (only outdoor dining is allowed in Phase 3)
- Personal Care Services: Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, spas, massage parlors, and tattoo parlors
- Outdoor Recreation: Customer-facing services such as driving ranges, outdoor shooting ranges, paintball courses, outdoor adventure parks (these regulations are still being refined)
- Day Camps: Recreational youth programs such as sports camps, recreational camps, and educational camps (these regulations are still being refined)
- Retail: Retailers and merchandisers such as grocery stores, hardware stores, clothing stores, pharmacies, department stores and shopping malls
- Service Counters: Stores providing services for dropped off goods, such as dry cleaners; repair shops and car washes
- Youth Sports: Youth sports games or matches, group sports lessons, team or group sports practices (however, competitive sports are not allowed in Phase 3)
- Health and Fitness Centers: Gyms, fitness centers, yoga, dance, and other customer-facing fitness centers
- Manufacturing: Manufacturing facilities such as plants, factories and mills
- Offices: Non-customer-facing offices such as legal, accounting, architectural/engineering design, and other professional services.
McHenry County residents are asked to continue to follow the masking and physical distancing requirements under state guidelines to help move Illinois along to Phase 4, which will allow for indoor dining, the reopening of gyms and health clubs, and other business.
Franks last month created Resume McHenry County, a task force of local business, industry and health leaders to ensure that the reopening of local businesses is both successful and safe. He also has been working with every county municipality, as well as restaurants and other trade groups, to work with the state to responsibly ease restrictions.
Other online resources exist for business owners, employees and customers with questions regarding the state reopening plan.
You can learn more about Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan and what it entails by visiting the State of Illinois website, and the frequently asked questions page set up by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
If you're a business owner with questions, you can contact the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity's Business Hotline at 800-252-2923, or by email at [email protected].
Help is out there if you and your family are struggling. Please visit the county's coronavirus resource page at www.mchenrycountyil.gov/covid19resources if you need help with food, utilities, rent, unemployment, mental health, business assistance, and other vital needs. McHenry County residents also can call 211 to talk with an agent who can refer you to the services you need.