Hispanic Heritage Month

For the first time the state of Illinois will celebrate National Support Latino Business Day on September 14, 2021 and encourages residents to support over 112,000 Latinx and Hispanic businesses throughout the state during Hispanic Heritage Month. DCEO will present an official proclamation supporting this observance and recognizing the newly formed Rockford Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Virtual Events

Event Type: Facebook Live (en Español)
Recursos de DCEO para pequeñas empresas
Friday | September 17 | 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Link: DCEO Facebook Live @illinoisdceo

Description: Recursos disponibles de DCEO que le puede ayudar su negocio como ayuda financiera y asistencia técnica.

  • Manny Lopez, DCEO - RED
  • Diana Alfaro, DCEO - OMEE
  • Pedro Guerra, IHCC


Event Type: Webinar and Facebook Live
Nuestra Historia: A Panel with Latinx Women in Film
Tuesday | September 21 | 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Link: Facebook Live: @illinoisdceo

Description: There is a lack of representation of Latinx in film. According to “Latinos in Film: Erasure on Screen & Behind the Camera Across 1,200 Popular Movies,” of the 100 top grossing movies between 2007 and 2018, only 3% of films featured leads or co-leads with Latinx actors and only 4% of directors were Latinx. Representation of women is even more scarce. Hear from women leaders in film as we discuss ways to break this cycle.

Moderator:  Colette Ghunim, co-founder, Mezcla Media Collective

  • Vianca Iliana Fuster, documentary filmmaker
  • Diana Quiñones Rivera, filmmaker
  • Erika Lucia Rodriguez, filmmaker


Event Type: Facebook Live
DCEO Resources for Small Businesses
Friday | September 24 | 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Link: DCEO Facebook Live @illinoisdceo

Description: We will be discussing technical assistance and financial resources available from DCEO.

  • Kristi Dula, DCEO – EIT
  • Manny Lopez, DCEO - RED
  • Diana Alfaro, DCEO – OMEE


Event Type: Webinar
DCEO and Groupon Present: Tips and Resources for Funding Your Business
Tuesday | September 28 |10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Join DCEO and Groupon for a discussion on available financial resources and tips available for your business. 
Moderator: Juan Garcia Valencia, Senior Manager, Technical Program Management, Groupon

  • Bob Esquivel, Supervisory Lender Relations Specialist, Illinois District, Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Steve Hall, Vice President for Economic Development Lending, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
  • Vanessa Uribe, Deputy Director, Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE), DCEO


Event Type: Webinar (en Español)
Acceso a la Capital para Empresas Latinx
Thursday | September 30 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Description: ¿Necesita acceso a capital para ayudar a iniciar un negocio o tal vez hacer crecer su negocio? Regístrese para unirse a este seminario web donde tendremos una discusión sobre los recursos financieros disponibles para su negocio, como subvenciones (ayuda que no tiene que pagar) y préstamos. Letty Velez de Illinois LULAC moderará a nuestros panelistas invitados que incluyen: Cynthia Valle (Self-Help Federal Credit Union), Manny Flores (SOMERCOR), Elvin Rodriguez (Allies for Community Business) y Vanessa Uribe de la Oficina de empoderamiento económico para minorías, en el estado de Illinois.

Moderator: Letty Velez, Illinois LULAC

  • Cynthia Valle, Self-Help Federal Credit Union
  • Manny Flores, SOMERCOR
  • Elvin Rodriguez, Allies for Community Business
  • Vanessa Uribe, DCEO-OMEE


Event Type: Webinar
Apprenticeships: Benefits for Businesses and Job Seekers
Tuesday | October 5 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 

Description: Join this discussion on apprenticeship programs and how to utilize those programs to assist your business and/or your career journey. Learn about the Apprenticeship Expansion Program and how it was designed to be centered on supporting businesses and individuals. Expanding apprenticeships helps businesses with their current and future workforce needs as well as individuals with a career pathway, which includes work-based learning. This may include projects that serve youth, adults, dislocated workers, and/or incumbent workers that are eligible under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Moderator: Jacqueline Gomez, Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA)


  • Jose Abrego, Advanced Contractors Solutions Inc.
  • Fateh Bedouhene, Advanced Contractors Solutions Inc.
  • Norman Ruano, Illinois Works, DCEO


Explore and enjoy a variety of Hispanic-owned businesses throughout the cities of Peoria and the Quad Cities along with Rockford and the Chicago Area.