PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois Department of Commerce held a ‘State Of Black Business in Illinois’ event at the Peoria Minority Business Development Center Office on Wednesday, where they shared findings from the first of its kind statewide black business survey.

CEO Denise Moore said it’s all about helping find innovative ways to restore jobs to black communities, grow minority businesses and a skilled workforce.

She said the businesses didn’t have someone to go to, on evenings or weekends.

“Here in Peoria, the status of black businesses is improving, but it’s way far short of what it needs to be,” Moore said. “A lot of the black businesses we have come across in the six to seven years we’ve been doing this indicate they’ve had no assistance until we came along.”

The insights and results will help them support black business development and improve the economy for all, according to Moore.

“From COVID, we lost a significant number of minority businesses, particularly African-American-owned businesses,” she said. “So this survey is going to tell us how bad the bleeding was, and how we can turn the tide of that.”