The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month throughout May 2021. Led by the Offices of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) and Regional Economic Development (RED), DCEO will celebrate AAPI leaders from across the state, highlighting their contributions to the fabric of our state, and resilience as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

At the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), we stand by the AAPI community and extend our solidarity to helping all AAPI businesses and communities in our state feel safe and supported. Under the Governor's leadership, DCEO is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming business ecosystem. As we work to recover from the pandemic and address systemic and underlying challenges facing the AAPI community, we will continue to advance policies and programs centered around equitable access to opportunity and resources for all Illinois communities.

Governor Proclamation: May 2021 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Illinois

AAPI Heritage Month Events

  • Women's Webinar Wednesday: Business Growth Opportunities for AAPI Community
    Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 11:00 AM
    Link: Click here to register

    Every other Wednesday, the SBA and DCEO-OMEE partner to present resources for women-owned businesses. This month, we will be focusing on supporting AAPI-owned businesses by discussing ways to access business growth opportunities.

  • Addressing Anti-Asian Hate and Supporting the AAPI Business Community  
    Thursday, May 20, 2021, 12:00 PM
    Link: Click here to register

    AAPI-owned businesses nationwide have been targeted disproportionately and suffered significant loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Stop AAPI Hate, between March 2020 and February 2021, Asian-owned businesses were the primary site of AAPI discrimination with 35.4% of reported incidents. Now more than ever it's important that business and community leaders discuss ways to support and protect AAPI businesses in Illinois.

  • Navigating the Benefits of the American Rescue Plan for AAPI Small Businesses and Avoiding Predatory Lending
    Friday, May 21, 2021, 12:00 PM
    Link: pending

    Please join us for a conversation around the American Rescue Plan and how federal, state, and local partners plan to support AAPI businesses in accessing funding and technical assistance, and how to avoid predatory lending practices.

    This session will feature Senator Tammy Duckworth, Acting Director of DCEO Sylvia Garcia, Midwest Director for the Small Business Majority Geri Aglipay, Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Fraud Bureau Tom James, AAPI Constituent Advocate Abbey Eusebio, and the SBA's Mark Ferguson.

  • Fireside Chat: AAPI Business Leaders Thriving Across Illinois
    Tuesday, May 25, 2021, 11:00 AM
    Link: click here to register

    Illinois has a strong AAPI business community. We will hear from a group of businesses throughout the state as they share their experiences, including barriers they have overcome, success stories, ways they have leveraged resources and how we can work to ensure that Illinois is a place where AAPI businesses can thrive.

  • OMEE & Illinois SBDC Network Presents: Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (ADME) – Marketing Strategies
    Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 10:00 AM
    Link: Click here to register

    ADME is a targeted monthly workshop series featuring subject matter experts in the field of business sharing timely information with Illinois entrepreneurs to help them be successful. This month the discussion is focused on marketing strategies where we will be highlighting Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

  • World Trade Month: Doing Business in China
    Thursday, May 27, 2021, 9:00 AM
    Link: click here to register

    In honor of World Trade Month and Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, please join DCEO's Offices of Trade and Investment and Minority Economic Empowerment for an expert panel that will provide an overview of opportunities, trends, challenges, and resources for Illinois business interested in the Chinese marketplace.

    Presentations will be in English, but slides will include both English and Mandarin and panelists are prepared to answer questions in either language.

More Info (External Link)
May 28, 2021

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