Chatham Business Association, Small Business Development

Chatham Business Association, SBDI
Sustaining Communities by Building One Business at a Time

City of Chicago Certifications

Chatham Business Association, Small Business Development Inc. (CBA) and South Shore Chamber Inc. (SSCI) were contracted by City of Chicago’s Department of Procurement Services in September of 2014 to provide assistance to businesses that are interested in becoming certified with the City of Chicago.  Certifications include Minority-owned (MBE), or Women-owned (WBE) Business Enterprise or a Business Enterprise owned by people with disabilities (BEPD). 

Free MBE/WBE/BEPD Certification workshops are held bi-monthly at either CBA's or South Shore Chamber Inc.'s offices.
No paperwork is needed in advance.  It is helpful to review the application and the required document checklist before the workshop.

M/WBE Certification

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.

BEPD Certification

The Business Enterprises Owned by People with Disabilities (BEPD) Program is a certification aimed at stimulating the utilization of small businesses owned and operated by persons with disabilities. Certification enables you to pursue bid opportunities to do business with the City.

Eligibility criteria for individuals and businesses interested in participating in the program is as follows:

A for-profit corporation that is 51% or more owned or operated by one or more persons with disabilities and is certified as a BEPD with the City of Chicago. A non-profit that employs people with disabilities, pays at least minimum wage and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more persons with disabilities and they directly or indirectly serve persons with disabilitiesA person with a disability who is contracting with the City as a sole proprietorship or individually.

In order to qualify as a BEPD, the business must be located in one of the following Illinois counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, Lake or McHenry.

Minority Certification Forms and Documents

Schedule A - Application for MBE, WBE, & BEPD Certification

Schedule G - Disability Declaration Affidavit (BEPD Only)

Document Checklist

For a complete list of forms and documents, please visit the City of Chicago website 

Chatham Business Association, SBDI
800 East 78th Street
Chicago IL 60619

South Shore Chamber Inc.
1750 East 71st Street
Chicago IL 60649

questions icon If you have any questions about City Certifications or the workshops, please contact  Karletta Kelly at 773-994-5006 ext. 1006 or karlettakelly@cbaworks.org

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© Chatham Business Association | 800 E. 78th St Chicago, Illinois 60619 773-994-5006 (Office) 773-855-8905 (Fax)

Chatham Business Association, Small Business Development, Inc is a 501c6 non-profit organization.
All donations/sales are non-refundable.