OMEE Business Resource Library
The Illinois Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) has created a set of resources to help entrepreneurs navigate the business ownership process. This page will be populated with video content, helpful documents, and links to information that will assist business owners as they build a successful company in Illinois.
Illinois Statewide Black Business Survey
The Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE), Chicago State University, and the Chicago Urban League launched the Illinois Black Business Survey in late 2021. This first-of-its-kind statewide Black Business Survey solicited information directly from Black-owned businesses to provide empirical context to better understand the unique challenges facing Black-owned businesses across the state. The Black Business Survey was undertaken with the goal to learn directly from business owners about the challenges and opportunities they faced in order to bring stakeholders together to foster collaborative, impactful support.
Business Basics Video Series
OMEE and IL Small Business Development Center Network have partnered to develop the "Business Basics" series. The goal is to share easy-to-follow information on basic business concepts that business owners need to know in order to be successful. Each video is just 30 minute long. More videos will be added in the future.
What Is A Business Plan, and Why Do I Need One? (Karim Dure – IL SBDC at YWCA Metro Chicago) – A business plan is a road map for business success. It is a great tool to help you understand your own business. This workshop will discuss the basics of creating a strong plan for your business.
5 Keys to Formalizing Your Business (Cheryl Hudson-Jackson - IL SBDC at YWCA Metro Chicago) – Having a legal entity established will impact your ability to access funding and other important resource. This workshop will cover the basics of establishing your business as a legal entity. Including IL Secretary of state, SAM, Duns and ITIN.
Marketing Basics: Getting Customers and Keeping Them (Melissa Duff Brown – IL SBDC at The Joseph School) – Attracting clients and telling your story is a very important part of business success. This workshop will cover the basics of connecting with customers and how to drive sales to your business.
Filing Taxes, Including Sales Tax (Jo Ann May – IL SBDC Metro East at SIUE) – If you don't file taxes as a business, you could be ineligible for important resources and support. This workshop will discuss the basics of keeping up-to-date records for your business, and how to go about filing your taxes as a business.
Should I Certify As A Minority/Woman Owned Business? (Maura Downs - IL PTAC at the Women's Business Development Center) Doing business with the government - whether local, state, or federal - could be a great way for small businesses to grow revenues. This workshop will cover the basics of becoming a certified minority, woman, or veteran-owned business.
Be Prepared for Grant Opportunities - IL GATA Pre-Qualification (Courtney Bott – IL Office of Accountability) - If you want to receive a grant from the state of IL, you need to be registered in The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) portal. This webinar offers detailed information on all the steps required as part of the GATA process.
Pop-Up Shop and Farmers Market Vendor Basics (Yemisi Anderson, IL SBDC at SIUC)
Pop-up shops, farmers markets and expos are great ways to engage customers and sell your products and services without having to the overhead expenses of a storefront. Here, you will learn the right way to go about vending at events. (This presentation was created in partnership with the Black Chamber of Commerce of Southern IL)
Social Media Marketing for Business (Yemisi Anderson, IL SBDC at SIUC)
Using social media can help attract customers, increase market reach, and build your business brand. However, the many different social media platforms can be overwhelming. Learn the ins and outs of different platforms and how to use them to help your business grow. (This presentation was created in partnership with the Black Chamber of Commerce of Southern IL)
Creating Your Own Flyers and Marketing Materials (Yemisi Anderson, IL SBDC at SIUC)
Having quality marketing materials can help you create a lasting impression on your customers and enhance your brand potential. Quality graphic designs can cost a lot, but you don't have to pay someone else to do it for you. Here, you will learn how to use FREE websites to create your marketing materials. (This presentation was created in partnership with the Black Chamber of Commerce of Southern IL)
Business Resources Guides
Below are a few resource guides for women-owned businesses and future women business owners & entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and business stages, with many resources applicable to all genders. More resources will be added to the guides in the future, in addition to the development of different resource guides.
- Connecting HER to Illinois Business Resources Guide
- State of Illinois Government’s Resources for Business Owners Guide
- U.S. Federal & Illinois Local Governments’ Resources for Business Owners Guide
- Financial Capital Resources Guide for IL Women-owned Businesses
- Social Capital Resources Guide for IL Women-owned Businesses (includes mentoring programs & networking opportunities)