Planning and Development - Division of Community Development

Small Business Stabilization Grant Program

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Important Documents

In an effort to meet the needs of small businesses in McHenry County, the Community Development Division is offering small business stabilization grants to microenterprises – businesses with 5 or fewer employees (including the owner).

The pre-application window is NOW CLOSED, as of May 08, 2020 at 4:30 PM (CDT).

Only small businesses that submitted complete pre-applications before the deadline were invited to a full application via a link to an online application portal. The full application that will open the morning of Monday, May 11, 2020 and close on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 4:00pm (CDT). If a small business successfully pre-applied and did not receive a full application weblink, or requires assistance through the full application process, please reach out to Andrew Stuckey at [email protected].

Grant Amount

Maximum grant awards are $5,000 each. Up to $250,000 in total awards will be made to the community in June 2020*.

*Subject to change, based on the effects of COVID-19

Use of Program Funds

Program funds may be used for business expenses that are determined reasonable, not excessive, and necessary for the stabilization of the microenterprise business. The program is funded through the Community Development Block Grant funds that McHenry County receives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and are therefore subject to the limits, rules, and uses set forth by HUD, even if not explicitly listed prior.

Eligible Uses:

  • Working capital
  • Marketing/planning/feasibility studies
  • Technical Training
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Certain other costs associated with stabilizing a small business

Ineligible Uses:

  • Relocation of business operations
  • Renovations
  • Paying off existing debt
  • Reimbursement for costs incurred before aid

Eligibility

The program is intended for private, for-profit businesses in McHenry County* with 5 or fewer employees (including the owner). Non-profit, franchise, and chain organizations are not eligible, as well as any business outside of McHenry County boundaries. Additionally, the following business types are specifically not eligible for assistance: Adult bookstores, adult video shops or other adult entertainment facilities, check cashing facilities, gambling facilities, gun shops, liquor stores, non-therapeutic massage parlors, medical marijuana production or distribution businesses, pawn shops, tanning salons, or tattoo parlors.

Only applicants who can demonstrate that private funding is either not feasible or not available (i.e. denial) will be eligible. Similarly, only applicants who can demonstrate that assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) – including the Paycheck Protection Program and Emergency Injury Disaster Loans – is either not feasible or not available (i.e. denial) will be eligible.  Conditional to new information and guidance that is released, other funding sources may also be included as disqualifying factors at a later point.

Additionally, ONE (1) of the following eligibility criteria must be met:

  • The Owner’s household income (including all adults at their home address) is below the income limits below, as detailed in the LMI Eligibility Guide
  • The business is located within a Low-to-Moderate Income Area (LMA) that is listed on the LMA Eligibility Guide
  • The funding will help retain at least one full-time or part-time position for a person from a Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) household, as defined in the LMI Eligibility Guide, who is at imminent risk of job loss without the funding (Note: this includes furloughed workers). It is anticipated that the funding would be used to supplement or aid job retention, rather than as a sole means of retaining a worker. Employees must be on payroll as W-2 workers and be considered Low-to-Moderate Income at the time of retention.
  • The funding will hire at least one full-time or part-time position for a person from a Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) household, as defined in the LMI Eligibility Guide (Note: this includes laid off workers). It is anticipated that the funding would be used to supplement or aid job creation, rather than as a sole means of hiring a worker. Employees must be on payroll as W-2 workers and be considered Low-to-Moderate Income at the time of hire.

Low-to-Moderate Income Limits:

Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Income $51,000 $58,250 $65,550 $72,800 $78,650 84,450 $90,300 $96,100

*Due to prior boundaries used to determine who can benefit from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds in McHenry County, Fox Lake (IL) businesses are not eligible for this program (even if within McHenry County limits), and all of Huntley (IL) is eligible (even if outside of McHenry County limits).

Additional Resources

McHenry County Economic Development Corporation’s COVI-19 Business Resource Center

McHenry County College Small Business Development Center

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Coronavirus Relief Options