Employment and Legislative Policy

The Basics on City Contracts
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City of Chicago Buying Plan

City of Chicago Contracts for Minority and Woman-Owned Businesses

Chicago's Minority and Women-Owned Business (M/WBE) Certification Program demonstrates the City's continued commitment to the success of minority-and women-owned businesses by offering certification opportunities to MBE and WBE firms.

The Department of Procurement Services Certification and Compliance division certifies minority-and women-owned businesses that:
  • have at least 51 percent ownership by a minority or woman
  • have at least 51 percent of their business controlled by a one or more minority groups or women
The City of Chicago certification is also accepted by other government agencies and some private agencies.

Approved certifications are valid for 5 years.

If you have questions regarding the certification process, please contact our Certification and Compliance Division at:

Department of Procurement Services
Certification and Compliance Division
121 North LaSalle Street Room 403
Chicago, IL 60602

Legislative Reforms
  • SB 1659 – State Law 
    • Senator Patricia Van Pelt and Representative Art Turner 
    • Effective August 5, 2013 
    • The credit is equal to five percent of the wages paid to the ex-offender. The $1,500 maximum is a lifetime cap. Once an employer has claimed the credit for an ex-offender the credit cannot be claimed again for the same ex-offender. The law allows a business to claim this tax credit for any ex-offender hired within three years after release from an Illinois correctional facility. Sex offenders are excluded. 
  •  HB 3005 – Employee Background Check Act 
    • Third Reading – Lost 24-80-03 
    • Creates the Employee Background Check Act. Provides that employers may not conduct criminal history inquiries with respect to a candidate for employment until after the employer has received an application from and interviewed the candidate. Provides an exemption to permit background checks when a candidate's criminal history is an essential factor in the hiring decision. Permits questions concerning convictions during interviews. Authorizes a private right of action to remedy violations.

A non-profit association made up of retired business professionals dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business in the U.S. SCORE provides free business counseling, management consulting and advice on how to get a business loan and offers other resources, such as templates for a business plan. SCORE has more than 25 locations throughout the Chicago area and is a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. www.scorechicago.org. SCORE Counselors are available every Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A small business lender dedicated to providing financing and business education to businesses. ACCION offers loans of up to $20,000 for start-up business and $50,000 for established businesses. Credit Builder loans are also offered for amounts between $200 and $2,500. www.accionchicago.org. ACCION Chicago Counselors are available every second, fourth and fifth, if applicable, Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For City of Chicago Vendors