• Illinois Department of Commerce Happenings

    DCEO Joins Community Organizations to Boost
    Minority-Owned Business Applications for BIG Grants
    Today the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), joined community partners The Resurrection Project, the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC), The Chicago Urban League, the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corp and recent Business Interruption Grant (BIG) awardee Brew Brew Coffee & Tea in Avondale to urge minority-owned small businesses to apply. Launched by Governor Pritzker in response to the COVID-19 emergency, BIG is the largest economic support program of any state in the nation and is prioritizing businesses in hard hit industries and geographies. To date, nearly half of the 4,000 initial grants have been provided to minority-owned businesses. Today $175 million in funding remains available, and DCEO is actively reviewing applications on a rolling basis to respond to the urgency of the need facing small business owners due to COVID-19.
    In an effort to reach small minority-owned businesses the BIG program has partnered with “community navigators” – organizations that are working to conduct outreach to minority businesses and help them apply for grants. Working with the navigators, DCEO is casting a wide net on outreach--webinars, technical assistance sessions, outreach, canvassing, and customer service.
    BIG webinars for LatinX/Hispanic businesses to learn about eligibility, program details, and the application process:
    Statewide Latinx Business Webinar (Spanish)
    • November 12, at 2:00 p.m. Register HERE
    Southern, Southeast, West Central, Northwest Latinx Business Webinars
    • November 13, at 2:00 p.m. Register HERE
    Central, Southwest, North Central, Northern Stateline Latinx Business Webinars
    • November 18, at 2:00 p.m. Register HERE
    Northeast, East Central Latinx Business Webinars
    • November 20, at 10:00 a.m. Register HERE
    OMEE Latinx Women Owned Business BIG Webinar
    • December 9, at 2:00 p.m. Register HERE
    Learn about BIG
    The Illinois Department of Commerce and
    Economic Opportunity Celebrates...
    No-Cost Virtual Events for Job Seekers and Employers Scheduled All Week Long
    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Employment & Training, is partnering with educational and training facilities throughout the state to offer apprenticeship webinars to introduce employers to job candidates seeking new career opportunities. Learning a craft or trade on the job is a win-win for both employers and employees, matching the best candidates with skills to best fit their talents, while the employer fosters a relationship with a potential long-term career employee. DCEO also offers the Apprenticeship Education Tax Credit program, giving employers who qualify up to $5,000 tax credit.
    As part of their efforts to expand apprenticeship programs, the Pritzker administration has directed a $5 million investment in new apprenticeship opportunities offering support for more than 500 apprentices in hundreds of occupations in high-growth and emerging industries.
    Join DCEO and Joliet Junior College for “Building Skills and Expanding Opportunities through Apprenticeships”
    • Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Register HERE
    Learn More
    The Local CURE is Available to Support Communities
    Across Illinois with COVID-19 Costs
    Hundreds of cities and towns across Illinois have received Local CURE funds to cover COVID-19 costs and many more local governments are eligible to claim costs.
    To view a list of local governments that have not been certified, please click here and help spread the word!  
    For more information on eligible expenses, visit the Local CURE Reporting Portal FAQs or contact the Local CURE Support Team at LocalCURE@crowe.com.
    Rebuild Distressed Communities (RDC) Provides Support for Businesses Impacted by Civil Unrest
    Last week the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) joined the Local Initiatives Support Group (LISC) and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) in announcing the opening of applications and efforts to coordinate reimbursement and capital repairs as part of the Rebuild Distressed Communities (RDC) program.
    RDC directs $25 million in funding to help cover the costs of civil-unrest-related repairs while also supporting new investments in economically distressed communities across Illinois.
    For more information on the RDC application...
    Visit LISC Chicago
    Gene Siskel Film Center to Present its 26th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival
    Lights, Camera, Action! On Friday, November 6, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center will present its 26th annual Black Harvest Film Festival virtually, which once again will be supported by our Illinois Film Office.
    The Black Harvest Film Festival celebrates the contributions and creativity of Black filmmakers in Illinois and across the country and offers films throughout November.
    Learn More
    DCEO In the News
    'It was a little ping of joy': Suburban businesses share $15 million in COVID-19 grant funds Daily Herald
    At Champaign manufacturer, Pritzker announces training academies
    The News-Gazette 
    Is Your Small Business Struggling? State Has $175 Million In Grants Left To Give, But Needs More Applicants
    Block Club Chicago
    COVID-19: Help for businesses, workers and residents:
    Forum for Illinois Employers
    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) invites you to register for a virtual discussion – “Grow with Google” and its Google Career Certificates. Learn how you can make an impact by hiring skilled, diverse non-traditional talent for IT positions.
    • November 17, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.
    Through this FREE event, learn how your company can become a participating employer to connect with skilled candidates and grow your talent pipeline.
    Veteran’s Virtual Job Fair
    Illinois workNet has partnered with the Illinois Department of Employment Security to hold a statewide multi-employer Virtual Job Fair in celebration of Veteran's Day. These events are slated to take place over four days during November 9-13, with the exception of Veteran's Day.
    Learn about how you can apply for job openings throughout the state from several employers currently hiring.
    Illinois workNet Virtual Job Fair Opportunities
    Virtual Job Fair
    November 30, 2020
    10:00 a.m.
    Office of Minority Economic Empowerment
    Online with OMEE - The business development managers from the Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) are excited to host Online with OMEE – an open conversation with OMEE constituents (racial/ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veteran-owned businesses). We will provide you with the latest updates regarding federal and state programs and answer any questions you may have about other available resources.
    • Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Register HERE
    • Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Register HERE
    • Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Register HERE
    Office of Trade and Investment (OTI)
    The Office of Trade & Investment (OTI) continues to offer Illinois businesses virtual services to support export promotion and international sales growth. OTI’s team of Chicago-based international trade specialists and our six foreign trade offices in: Belgium, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, and Mexico are ready to support businesses across the state looking to expand in international markets.
    To see a full list of upcoming Office of Trade webinars...
    Visit our website
    Roll Your #SleeveUp to #FightFlu
    Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever as we brace for a dual outbreak of flu and COVID-19 this fall and winter. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and local health departments across Illinois are challenging everyone to roll their #SleeveUp to get a flu shot and help protect not only themselves, but those around them.
    Wearing a mask, washing your hands often, getting a flu vaccine, and watching your distance are four simple actions that everyone, especially people at higher risk of developing serious flu complications, should take to help reduce the spread of flu.
    The more people vaccinated against the flu, the more people protected from the flu.
    Please the IDPH website to...
    Learn more
    Download the mask safety toolkit
    Go #AllinIllinois
    The State of Illinois could use your support with much-needed personal protective equipment as well as other supplies for our first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    To Donate: ppe.donations@Illinois.gov
    To Manufacture PPE in Illinois: ima@ima-net.org
    To Sell PPE: covid.procurement@illinois.gov
    To Volunteer: serve.illinois.gov or email dph.serveillinois@illinois.gov