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Black Business Month 2023

 “Proudly Celebrating the Contributions of Black Businesses in Illinois”

Black business in Illinois is crucial, driving major value for the state’s economy. To recognize the impact of Black-owned businesses across the state, the State of Illinois, through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE), is celebrating August as Black Business Month. This monthlong celebration includes a webinar highlighting community leaders, organizations, and business enterprises throughout the state, stops on the Statewide Black Business Survey Roadshow, a campaign inviting Illinoisans to “Shop Black-owned Business Saturdays,” and company highlights via social media. 

2023 Black Business Month Proclamation

Read the 2023 State of Illinois Black Business Month Proclamation.

Black Business Month Events

WEBINAR – Innovation and Self Determination: Creative Programs to Spur Black Business Development in Your Community
Wednesday | August 16, 2023 | 10:00 a.m.

According to the Illinois Statewide Black Business Survey, Black entrepreneurs are motivated to be engines for change – looking to bring resources and jobs to their community. However, many of these business owners find themselves lacking the support necessary to bring their vision to life.

With the help of OMEE, community leaders across the state are now creating dynamic program interventions to ensure Black businesses can be successful now and into the future. Join us as leaders share information on creative initiatives they have developed and learn about best practices that have been implemented, as well as ways you can use these ideas to help spur Black business success in your community.

ROADSHOW – Presentations of the Statewide Black Business Survey Report 

In February 2023, OMEE released the results from the first of its kind Statewide Black business survey. OMEE will be presenting the findings from the survey in communities across the state, sharing insights that will help us support Black business development and improve the economy for all. There will also be networking and business resource organizations present to assist you on your entrepreneurial journey.

  • Decatur – State of Black Business in IL: Decatur (hosted by Metro Decatur Black Chamber of Commerce)
    • Tuesday | August 1, 2023 | 8:00am – 10:00am
      1165 N University Ave, Decatur
    • Register : email 
  • Northern Stateline – State of Black Business in IL: Rockford/Northern Stateline (hosted by Positive Reflections, Think Big and Rockford Black Chamber of Commerce)
    • Friday | August 4, 2023 | 5:30pm – 7:30pm
      Stephenson Business Service Center, 730 N. Church St, Rockford
  • Kankakee – State of Black Business in IL: Kankakee (hosted by Greater Kankakee Black Chamber of Commerce)
    • Tuesday August 15, 2023 | 1:00pm – 3:00pm
      908 S. Schuyer Ave, Kankakee

“Shop Black Saturdays” Campaign

Join DCEO as we celebrate “Shop Black Saturdays.”  Each Saturday in August, we encourage Illinoisans to support Black-owned businesses in their community. To help promote the amazing products and services offered, take photos and share the experience using the hashtag #ShopBlackSaturday.

Black Business Month 2023 Social Media Toolkit

Download our social media toolkit for graphics, sample posts and other ideas for amplifying Black Business Month.

The State’s Black Business Month activities are presented by OMEE. OMEE plays a crucial role in providing support to minority owned businesses of all sizes and types, including connection with grants, technical assistance, and incentives to bolster minority entrepreneurs and minority-owned enterprises. For more information on Black Business Month events planned for businesses, contact Matthew J. Simpson, the African American Business Development Manager, at To learn more about ongoing resources and programs for businesses, follow DCEO on social media @IllinoisDCEO.