First published last Saturday, this post is reprinted because today is virtual meeting of the group that Jack Franks has appointed.
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Jack Franks is at it again.
The press release that follows indicates our hero is going to lead us out of Governor JB Pritzker’s economic desert back into the booming Trump economy…with the help of the Publisher of the Northwest Herald, which showers him with praise and front page photos for unknown reasons.
No matter that the County government has jurisdiction only over the unincorporated portion of McHenry County and most of that is agriculture where farmers don’t need his or the newspaper’s advice to do their jobs.
Most businesses, of course, are in municipalities.
That’s where the economic action is.
No Mayors or Village Presidents are on the Task Force, at least until a day or two after Franks reads this.
There are, however, at least one campaign contributor, an ally from the County Board and two whose livelihood depends on County Board financing.
Chairman Franks to Convene Task Force to Aid Reopening of McHenry County Economy
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:
- The McHenry County Economic Development Corp. has set up a COVID-19 Business Resource Center at www.mchenrycountyedc.com/covid-business/.
- The US Small Business Administration’s Coronavirus Relief Options page can be found at www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options.
- McHenry County College’s Small Business Development Center can be found at www.mchenry.edu/isbdc.
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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This Task Force will probably accomplish as much as his meeting with half of the County’s School Superintendents.
Although promised, Franks never met with the other half of the Superintendents.
And no taxes were decreased as a result.