FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4/25/2022

 DCEO Celebrates Arab American Heritage Month (AAHM)

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) honors the contributions of Arab Americans in Illinois
CHICAGO – In recognition of Arab American Heritage Month (AAHM), the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is honoring the contributions of Arab Americans in Illinois through a proclamation and a series of events spotlighting resources, businesses, and partnerships. 
 
“Arab Americans have made tremendous cultural and economic contributions to the state of Illinois,” said DCEO Director Sylvia I. Garcia. “This month and throughout the year, we are proud to partner with Arab American business leaders and community organizations to highlight these critical contributions while also providing technical assistance and information about DCEO programs that will help advance economic opportunity for Arab Americans across our great state.”
 
Illinois is home to a vibrant community of more than 450,000 people of Arab American decent who play a vital role in their individual communities. As part of AAHM, DCEO partnered with the Arab American Business & Professional Association (ABPA) and the American Arab Chamber of Commerce of Illinois (AACCIL) to highlight Arab American businesses and community leaders through business tours, events, webinars and more.
 
“During Arab American Heritage Month, our community takes an enormous amount of pride celebrating our rich culture and tradition. We love to showcase our unbelievable food, clothing, and artwork. At the same time, we also want to show everyone our strong economic value here in the state of Illinois. This is why our partnership with Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is important. Communicating grant opportunities to the Arab American Community is a major step towards equity and inclusion at a state-wide level,” Rush Darwish, President, Arab-American Business and Professional Association
 
“The American Arab Chamber of Commerce has one priority to help Arab businesses grow and be successful. We serve to strengthen our voices to ensure our community receives the services and benefits we earn through hard work and honest labor. Arab American Heritage Month is important in that goal by helping the mainstream American public understand who we are. We know they have many questions. Arab American Heritage Month reminds everyone that Arab Americans are no different than anyone else. We love this country, and we want to do our part to make this country, our state, our counties, and our cities successful. We want everyone to enjoy our rich culture.” Hassan Nijem, President, American Arab Chamber of Commerce

To wrap up AAHM, DCEO, in partnership with the American Arab Chamber of Commerce of Illinois (AACCIL) and the Illinois SBDC Network will host an informative workshop on April 27, 2022, which will be focused on raising awareness of funding opportunities through grants and loans. Information can be found below:

Event Name: Access to Capital: Resources for Arab American Businesses to Grow and Thrive
Event Date/Time: Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 10:00am - 11:30am
Event Location: Virtual
Format: Participants can register here or tune in on Facebook Live