Illinois Celebrating Black Business Month in August

BLACK-OWNED BUSINESS MONTH

To honor the contributions of Black-owned businesses across the state, the State of Illinois, with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced the celebration of Black Business Month by highlighting a series of events and initiatives taking place throughout the month of August. 

“Supporting Black business owners and entrepreneurs is important for the health of our communities and for restoring the Illinois economy following the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor JB Pritzker. 

Illinois has over 132,000 Black-owned businesses, comprising 11 percent of all Illinois businesses, and yet these business owners have historically experienced barriers in accessing capital and other key business resources. To show their appreciation, this month-long celebration invites Illinoisans to events like “Shop Black-owned Business Saturdays” along with partnering with community leaders and enterprises throughout the state to discuss the opportunities for the community available in the upcoming “Back to Business” recovery assistance program through the ARPA. 

“Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, the State of Illinois is committed to an inclusive business environment that helps businesses owned by people of color compete and thrive,” said Acting Director of DCEO, Sylvia Garcia. 

• August 11th:  Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship?(ADME): Achieving Success with the Illinois SB Network 

Presented by DCEO and the Illinois SB Network, Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (ADME) is a workshop for business owners to learn more about the State’s expansive business development center network – one of the largest in the nation with over 40 SBs, 9 PTACs, 9 ITCs. During this panel, business owners can learn how these community centers which are available on a year round basis can support new and existing businesses take their vision to the next level with planning, technical assistance, marketing, and more – all at no cost. To register, (LINK HERE).

• August 18th: Navigating the Pandemic: Resources to Help Black Businesses Survive and Thrive

DCEO-OMEE will host a group of business leaders to discuss how to leverage funding and grant opportunities to get on the road to recovery from the pandemic. Attendees will learn about technical support offered through community navigators who are on the ground listening and responding to your needs. To register, (LINK HERE).

• August 25th: Building Back Better: Charting Economic Recovery for the Black Business Community & Crafting the Roadmap for Access to Capital for Black Entrepreneurs

DCEO is teaming up with Groupon and community leaders to host a conversation with Acting DCEO Director Sylvia Garcia and leaders in business around access to capital and how they can foster an ecosystem of success. Also joining are Ron Busby, President, US Black Chamber of Commerce; Don Thompson, Founder and CEO, Cleveland Avenue; Eva Brown, Segment Leader, U.S Bank; Don Cravins, COO, National Urban League; Stephen Davis, Founder and Chairman, The Will Group. To register, (LINK HERE).

All events are free to attend. For more information on National Black History Month events planned for businesses, contact Matthew J. Simpson, the African American Business Development Manager, at Matthew.Simpson@illinois.gov or to learn more about ongoing resources and programs for businesses, follow DCEO on social media @IllinoisDCEO.

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