Celebrating National Black Business Month

Join us as we celebrate National Black Business Month in August and recognize the Black-owned businesses in our community, state and across the country. Below you’ll find both statewide and local events.


Local Events
Please see the list of local event(s) below presented by the Greater Decatur Black Chamber of Commerce.

  • September 12th: Criminal Records Sealing & Expungement Seminar – Criminal records 101; sealing vs expungement; records that are available for assistance; alternative remedies; information on Cannabis Control Act. The event will take place at the INC.SPOT on 269 West Eldorado Street in Decatur from 3-5 PM. Please RSVP by email to: theincspot2020@gmail.com.

Statewide Events

The state of Illinois is celebrating August’s National Black Business Month by teaming up with Groupon to host a series of workshops for Black-owned businesses across the state.

Groupon, the Chicago-based company, and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will host three virtual panel discussions for businesses and entrepreneurs during the month of August. Business workshops are FREE to attend and will bring together an all-star line-up of government officials, business industry groups, and Black business community leaders. That list includes: Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Groupon’s Interim CEO Aaron Cooper, DCEO Acting Director Michael Negron, Marc Morial, President, of the National Urban Leagure, and local Small Business Administration (SBA) officials.

All of the Black Business Month events will take place every Monday at 2:00 PM, Wednesday at 10:00 AM, and Thursday at 2:00 PM. Please see the list of events below and click the appropriate links to register.

  • August 3: Define BOSS– A high level discussion on entrepreneurship, and success stories from Black business bosses from across the state.  Click Here to Register
  • August 5: Open Forum – Join the African American Business Development Manager, Matthew Simpson and the Women’s Business Development Manager, Ibie Hart in an open forum in which you can ask questions and get answers. We are here to support you! Click Here to Register
  • August 6: Open Forum – Join the African American Business Development Manager, Matthew Simpson and the Women’s Business Development Manager, Ibie Hart in an open forum in which you can ask questions and get answers. We are here to support you! Click Here to Register
  • August 10: Black Women in Business– A discussion on Black women’s experience in the world of business, will include conversations on the challenges as well as success stories from Black woman entrepreneurs from across the state. Click Here to Register
  • August 12: How to best position yourself for Government Grants –  This webinar is for black women who are interested in preparing their business for government grants. We will be discussing GATA certification, NOFO writing, as well as best practices and common mistakes. Click Here to Register
  • August 13: Doing Business w/ Government – Fostering an inclusive and competitive business environment that will help Black Business Enterprises increase their capacity, grow revenue, and enhance credentials. Click Here to Register
  • August 17: Access to Capital – A conversation on business finance, and how entrepreneurs – from start-ups experienced business owners – can put themselves in position to tap into capital markets. Click Here to Register
  • August 19: Leveling up your marketing and operations for success during COVID. This webinar is for Black Women who want to learn how to market their business and improve operations for success during a pandemic. Click Here to Register
  • August 20: Black Business Lending – Access to Capital & Tax incentives: How Black Businesses can access financial resources and tax incentives to scale and grow a sustainable business that increases overall economic opportunity and growth in communities of color. Click Here to Register
  • August 24: Strength in Numbers– Discussing the need for collaboration in business development, and how unity brings success and facilitates growth. Will also touch on the reality that we cannot do it alone. Click Here to Register
  • August 26: OMEE & Illinois SBDC Presents ADME – Each month we will offer a dynamic discussion on a business topic and highlight one of OMEE’s focus communities. This month the discussion is marketing and the highlight is National Black Business Month! Click Here to Register
  • August 27: Federal and State Financial Resources for Black Businesses amidst COVID-19 and Civil Unrest – How Black Businesses can take advantage of federal/state COVID-19 grant/loan relief programs and rebuild damaged businesses post Civil Unrest.  Click Here to Register
  • August 31: A Vision for Your Brand– A conversation on branding and ensuring that entrepreneurs understand how to present and position their company in the best way possible. Click Here to Register

For more information on the Illinois Office of Minority Economic Empowerment, click here. Please email any questions to: ceo.omee@illinois.gov