Dear Friends,

February is Black History Month, a time to honor the Black legacy in America and uplift those making history today.

It’s also an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to support the local Black-owned businesses that underpin our economy and enrich our community. To help ensure the continued growth and success of the Black business community in Illinois, the Illinois Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) is partnering with community and civic leaders to host a series of webinars throughout February.

At these webinars, agency experts and Black business owners from across the state will offer insight into resources and programs exclusively focused on boosting Black- and minority-owned businesses in Illinois. Here’s a list of upcoming events, along with links to register:

A detailed Black History Month calendar with more information about these events, including featured moderators, panelists and topics of discussion, is available here. With questions, contact Matthew J. Simpson, OMEE African American Business Development Manager, at

Especially under the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic, local businesses are in need of our support more than ever. I hope you’ll join me to celebrate Black History Month by attending one of these webinars or sharing the information with a business owner you know, as well as patronizing the Black-owned shops, restaurants and other businesses in our neighborhood this month and all year long.

Stay safe and healthy!


The South Suburban Council

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