Illinois working with Chicago State, Chicago Urban League on first statewide Black Business Survey


The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) is working Chicago State University (CSU) and the Chicago Urban League (CUL) to launch a survey to collect feedback from Black and African-American business owners across the state.

The survey, which which went live last week, is aimed at capturing the challenges and opportunities small businesses are facing amid the pandemic and current economic climate.

The DCEO wants to learn about the pandemic resources that have helped businesses meet their needs and how to improve resource allocation, outreach and business related programs and services in the future.

OMEE, CSU and CUL will work with local organizations to help get the word out to businesses owners about the confidential survey hosted through the Chicago State University website. The survey includes questions related to business owners’ background, challenges, motivations, needs, opportunities, and successes. The 10-minute survey does not collect personal information and survey responses will be recorded anonymously. 

The survey will remain open through the end of the year and plans to share findings in early 2022. DCEO said in a press release it will leverage the survey findings as part of efforts to tailor resources to meet the current needs of the business community.

In Illinois, there are an estimated 132,000 Black-owned small businesses which contribute to the Illinois economy – providing vital services and employing thousands of residents across the state.



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