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Asian American Heritage Month 2024

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is honored to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. Throughout the month of May, DCEO, through its Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) is hosting and collaborating on a series of business resource events and elevating community events, spotlighting AAPI owned businesses in Illinois, and more.


Governor Pritzker has officially proclaimed May as Illinois Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. View the proclamation.

OMEE Events

Online with OMEE - Overview of Financial Capital Resources
Wednesday, May 1, 2024 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Virtual | Register

The Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) Business Development Managers will host an online conversation for entrepreneurs and business owners looking for funding especially those in traditionally underrepresented and marginalized communities. Team OMEE will provide you with the latest updates on financial resources from federal, state, local and private programs, and answer questions you may have related to the topics discussed.

An Instrumental Financial Resource that includes AAPI-owned Businesses and Startups: Advantage Illinois Loan Program
Thursday, May 16, 2024 | 10:00 – 11:00 AM | Register here

Are you a business owner in need of capital? During Team RED's office hours, we will share information about Advantage Illinois – SSBCI 2.0 PLP.

This Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we are celebrating AAPI-owned businesses and highlighting how this Participating Loan Program can help fill the gaps that prevent small businesses from accessing financing to grow, expand, and create jobs.

We work with a group of participating lenders to offer term loan financing at lower rates. Join us to learn more about Advantage Illinois – SSBCI 2.0 PLP, eligibility criteria, and the loan process.

Business Automation with AI – Leveraging AI for Small Business
Monday, May 20, 2024 | 10:00 AM – Noon | In-person | Register here
Location: The Joseph Center - Sanctuary East Room, 7600 Roosevelt Rd, Forest Park, IL

Hosted by OMEE and the Illinois Small Business Development Centers (IL SBDC) at the Chinese Mutual Aid Association, College of DuPage, Rock Valley College, and The Joseph Center, please join us for an enlightening conversation in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, where we delve into the intersection of AI and small businesses. Discover, from experts, how AI technologies can empower your small business to thrive in today's digital landscape.
Download Event Flyer | Watch Promotional Video

Celebrate & Connect: AAPI Heritage Month Closeout Small Business Symposium & Networking
Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | 5:00 – 8:00 PM | in-person | Register
North Park University, Hamming Hall
3225 W Foster Ave. Chicago, IL 60625

In collaboration with the North River Commission/Albany Park Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) invites you to celebrate the end of AAPI Heritage Month with a panel discussion by distinguished AAPI food entrepreneurs, essential business resources from government agencies, and networking opportunities! All communities are welcome. More information to come!

Community Events

11th Annual Asian American Action Day (AAA Day)
Wednesday, May 1, 2024 | Website
Hosted by: Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago - Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment Coalition (PAVE)
Illinois State Capitol
Capitol Avenue and Second Street; Springfield, Illinois

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Kickoff & Business Expo
Wednesday, May 1, 2024 | 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM CST | Register here
Hosted by AAEN & OCA-Chicago & AACC
PNC Centre
1 N. Franklin Street, Suite 2700, Chicago, IL

AAPI Heritage Month: Asian Night Market
Friday, May 10, 2024 | 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM | Register here
Hosted by Oakton College - Center for Organizing Minority Programs to Advance Student Success (COMPASS) and Everybody’s Market
Des Plaines Campus, TenHoeve Center
1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines, IL

Lasting Legacies: A White House Celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage and History
Monday, May 13, 2024 | Website
Hosted by: White House Initiative on AA and NHPIs
Andrew W Mellon Auditorium
1301 Constitution Avenue Northwest Washington, DC 20240

Asian American Author Series (AAAS) - 2024
Tuesday, May 14, 2024 | 2 :00 PM - 3:30 PM CDT | Register here
Hosted by: Asian American Executive Network
Virtual event.

2024 National AANHPI Business Summit
Wednesday May 15, 2024 | 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM EDT | Register here
Hosted by: MBDA and National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE)
U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
1401 Constitution Avenue Northwest Washington DC 20230

2024 AAPI Restaurants Week
Friday, May 17 – 26, 2023 | Restaurant List
Hosted by OCA Greater Chicago
Showcasing AAPI-owned restaurants all around the Chicagoland area

Aurora’s 2024 AANHPI Festival
Saturday, May 18, 2024 | 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM | Register here
Hosted by the Global Friendship Exchange Foundation
Pacifica Square
4360 East New York St., Aurora IL

27th Annual Asian American Showcase
Friday, May 17 – 26, 2024 | EVENT | THEATER
By: The Foundation for Asian American Independent Media (FAAIM)
The Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60601

2024 Otaka Judicial Reception
Thursday, May 23, 2024 | 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM | Register here
Hosted by: Asian American Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
321 S. Plymouth Court Chicago, IL 60604

Friends of the National Asian Pacific American Museum
Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | 2 :00 PM - 3:30 PM CDT | Register here
Hosted by: Asian American Executive Network
Virtual event.

AAPI Founded in Chicago - Happy Hour
Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM | In-Person | Register
TechNexus Venture Collaborative
20 N Wacker Dr 12th Floor, Chicago, IL

​​​In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, join us for our networking event uniting AAPI founders, investors, and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Chicagoland community. This event serves to celebrate the city's growing entrepreneurship ecosystem and provide an opportunity to make meaningful connections. Due to limited event capacity, we are prioritizing registrations to founders, investors, and local partners. Please RSVP early to secure your entry.


Social Media Tool Kit

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

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2024 Toolkit