Item 19-0604, an ordinance creating preference for businesses owned by people with disabilities, passed during February's Cook County Board meeting. This legislation allows Persons with Disabilities Owned Business Enterprise (PDBE) to receive recommendation for contracts by the Chief Procurement Officer, so long as their bid does not exceed the lowest bid by more than five percent. Businesses interested in finding further information about responding to a bid for proposal can do so via Contract Compliance.
In order to qualify as a PDBE, businesses must be at least 51 owned, controlled or managed by a disabled person and have a home office in Illinois. If you believe this applies to a business you own, you can explore the steps to get certified prior to the legislation going into effect on June 21, 2019. Certification is valid for five years, at which point vendors will be asked to re-certify via the Diversity Management System.
Each year, the Board will be given an annual report of the preceding fiscal year that will outline the number of PDBEs that were awarded contracts. The County aims to award at least three percent of total expenditures to PDBEs, as well as Veteran Owned and Disabled Veteran Owned businesses, and this report will work to ensure this goal is met.