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The Government Procurement Compliance (GPC) Forum, in collaboration with the Department of Procurement Services (DPS), hosted the 2019 Vendor Fair today at the UIC Forum. Created under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emanuel in January 2014, the GPC is a strategic partnership including 30+ government agencies and non-profit assist agencies representing small business. Over 1,000 individuals registered for today’s Vendor Fair, representing contractors, developers, manufacturers, and suppliers of all sizes and specialties.
“The GPC Forum is an example of the importance of collaboration with other government agencies to make an impact on the City of Chicago and the regional economy,” said Mayor Emanuel, “We want to ensure that access to opportunities is fair and transparent so that those who do business with the city reflect the city’s rich diversity.”
Today’s event was the 9th Annual Vendor Fair, which continues to grow every year. The event includes multiple components in an effort to maximize the amount of information that is made available to attendees. The exhibit hall featured nearly 130 exhibitors, sharing information about upcoming contracting opportunities, training and business development programs. The exhibitors included City of Chicago user departments, Sister Agencies, County, State and Federal government agencies, non-profit assist agencies, veteran organizations, employment and labor organizations, and financial institutions with resources for small business. Additionally, the Vendor Fair continued its PRIMES/DEVELOPERS Connect, a matchmaking event to encourage networking of prime contractors and developers with small, minority, veteran, women-owned, and businesses owned by people with disabilities. PRIMES/DEVELOPERS Connect created nearly 200 one-on-one meetings between local small businesses and the participating entities. Attendees also had the opportunity to attend workshops comprised of a diverse selection of topics such as: Doing Business with Government, Resources to Start, Run & Grow Your Business, Navigating Financial Challenges and Opportunities, How to Become Certified, and Working With Assist Agencies.
“The City of Chicago and DPS continues to work with all of our stakeholders to build on our foundation of providing transparency and resource development, while also ensuring our active business community has direct access to government agencies with upcoming contracting opportunities,” said Chief Procurement Officer Shannon E. Andrews, “The City is committed to being a leader in government procurement and helping small and diverse businesses have access to the information and tools they need to grow.”
To help vendors plan ahead, the City issued a special edition Consolidated Buying Plan that includes upcoming contracting opportunities for the City of Chicago as well as 12 additional government purchasing entities including: Chicago Board of Elections, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Transit Authority, Public Building Commission, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, Cook County, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois Tollway, and the State of Illinois.
For more information on the Vendor Fair, all upcoming contracting outreach events, and download the current Buying Plan, visit www.chicago.gov/vendorfair