Business Owners Invited to Free Workshop on Illinois Business Enterprise Program
State program helps businesses connect with procurement opportunities
Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, the Will County Center for Economic Development (CED), and the State of Illinois Commission on Equity and Inclusion invites business owners to attend a free in-person workshop to learn about the Illinois Business Enterprise Program (BEP) and local resources. The workshop will take place on Thursday, September 7, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at the Joliet Public Library, 150 N. Ottawa St., Joliet.
The BEP Program is managed by the state and works to empower businesses owned by minorities, women, and persons with disabilities with opportunities to bid for government contracts. The workshop will provide an overview of the program, including vendor eligibility requirements, benefits of certification, and the process to apply and become certified. The CED will also present on local partners and resources for business.
“I am glad we can host this event in person this year and share how the Business Enterprise Program helps our local businesses flourish,” said Bertino-Tarrant. “This Program is a vital resource for minority business owners, connecting them with a variety of public and private business opportunities.”
The BEP program helps businesses increase their capacity, grow revenue, and enhance credentials. Businesses that are BEP-certified are listed in an online directory used by State procurement officials and prime vendors, increasing their opportunity to bid on contracts with BEP goals.
“There are so many opportunities that come to Will County through the BEP program,” said Will County CED President and CEO Doug Pryor. “In 2022, Illinois awarded more than $1.2 Billion in the Business Enterprise Program and the Veterans Business Program, and we’re proud to help promote the participation of local companies in the State procurement process.”
To qualify for BEP certification, businesses must be at least 51% owned and controlled by persons who are minority, women, or designated as disabled. In addition, to qualify each business must have an annual gross sales of less than $150 million and be owned by a United States citizen or resident alien.
Attendance is free and registration is recommended, but not required. Interested attendees can learn more and register at www.WillCountyCED.com.