Certification program to boost Chicago jobs
Posted on November 5, 2017
A new certification program will benefit Chicago jobs.
The city and the Department of Procurement Services (DPS) announced the roll-out of the certification program for veteran-owned business enterprises (VBE) and a new Bid Incentives and Program Guide to serve as a resource for Chicagoland businesses.
“The City of Chicago is committed to creating an open and fair government accessible to all of its residents,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The VBE Certification and Bid Incentive and Program Guide are designed to level the playing field so that businesses of all sizes –including those owned by veterans – can compete and earn City contracts.”
Coupled with the available veterans bid incentives, the VBE certification will create even more opportunities for participation in City contracts by veteran-owned businesses. VBE certification allows the City to conduct an analysis of the availability of small, local veteran-owned businesses and their areas of specialty. The VBE certification program mirrors the rigorous application process that is in place for minority and women-owned business enterprises (MBE/WBE).
“As Chairman of the Veteran Caucus, I know the tremendous benefits veteran-owned businesses bring to the neighborhoods of Chicago,” said Alderman Gilbert Villegas. “Veteran-owned businesses are success stories and serve as role models for our young people.”
To become certified as a VBE, firms will have to demonstrate that they are at least 51 percent owned by an honorably discharged veteran, be located in the six-county region of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry or Will and not exceed size standards as set by the federal government.
The City currently has a series of bid incentives that encourage the use of veteran-owned firms:
- Veteran/small business JV bid incentive – five percent for eligible joint ventures and small, local, veteran-owned businesses.
- Veteran-owned subcontractor bid incentive – up to two percent for utilization of veteran-owned subcontractors.
- Service-disabled veteran-owned businesses can also apply to be certified as a Business Enterprises Owned or Operated by People with Disabilities (BEPD), which includes a bid incentive program, up to four percent for utilization of BEPDs on a contract.
The VBE certification program and incentives are the latest in a series of initiatives to increase the vendor pool of businesses that bid on City contracts. The City has 14 different incentives available to the vendor community. In 2017, nearly 300 individual incentives were applied to bid submissions.