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Arab American Heritage Month 2024

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is honored to celebrate Arab American Heritage Month. Throughout April, DCEO, through its Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) and Office of Regional Economic Development (RED) will be hosting events, spotlighting Arab American businesses across the state, showcasing our continued commitment to growing and investing in Arab American businesses, and celebrating the leadership of our Arab American staff.  


Illinois is the first state to recognize the racial classification of Middle Eastern or North African for state data collection purposes. 


Overview of Financial Capital Resources for Small Businesses
Wednesday | April 3, 2024 | 10:00 – 11:00 AM | Virtual
Tailored for businesses of all stages & industries.

Is access to financial capital important for your business? During the monthly Online with OMEE series, Team OMEE provides the latest financial capital resources (grants, loans, etc.) offered across the sectors, along with other opportunities and updates for business owners.


Arab American Network and Resource Fair
Thursday, April 25, 2024 | 5:00 - 8:00 PM | in-person
Business Conference Center Building M at Moraine Valley Community College
9000 W College Pkwy, Palos Hills, IL 60465 Palos Hills, IL

Presented by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity - Office of Minority Economic Empowerment and the SBDC at ABPA. This event promises to be an exciting and informative occasion!


Need One-on-One Technical Assistance?

The Arab American Business & Professional Association (ABPA) hosts a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and provides no-cost assistance to small businesses. Please note, that ABPA SBDC can assist in Arabic, if needed. Below are some of the services provided at no cost:

  • One-on-one business advice and management assistance.
  • Assistance with the development of business plans.
  • Help with accessing market information and the development of marketing plans.
  • Assistance with accessing business financing programs.
  • Access to business education and training opportunities.
  • And much more.

If you want to make an appointment with the ABPA SBDC, please contact Rush Darwish at or 708-738-7957.

Need Information on Financial Resources including Business Grants?

Sign up for the DCEO-OMEE newsletter and we will be sure to email you at least once a month on business resources including grants, loans, and other helpful resources for your business. 


Throughout the month, DCEO will be highlighting the State of Illinois employees of Arab descent and Arab American-owned businesses across the state.

   DCEO Handle: @IllinoisDCEO 

Hashtags: #AAHM2024


In the link below, you’ll find tips, sample social media posts, graphics, and ideas on how to celebrate and promote Arab American Heritage Month 2024!

Arab American Heritage Month Toolkit

For more information on Arab American Heritage Month events planned for businesses, contact Diana Alfaro, Business Development Manager, at or to learn more about ongoing resources and programs for businesses, follow DCEO on social media @IllinoisDCEO.