The City of Chicago is committed to empowering veteran-owned businesses to become involved in the contracting opportunities available at the City. The Department of Procurement Services has several key programs to assist veteran-owned businesses.
Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE)
The City of Chicago VBE certification can be awarded to small and local business that are owned and operated by veterans who have been generally or honorably discharged. To take advantage of City of Chicago veteran programs/incentives, veteran-owned businesses must be VBE certified by the City of Chicago.
The City of Chicago VBE certification will ensure that businesses that are seeking to take advantage of the incentives and programs established for veterans are legitimately owned, operated, and controlled by veterans. The VBE certification program mirrors the application process that is in place for minority and women-owned business enterprises (MBE/WBE).
To become certified as a VBE, firms will have to demonstrate that they are at least 51 percent owned by an honorably or generally discharged veteran, be located in the six-county region of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry or Will and not exceed size standards as set by the federal government.
Benefits of City of Chicago Certification
• Opportunities to participate in a number of programs which are designed to promote contracting opportunities for VBE firms
• Veteran/small business JV bid incentive – 5% for eligible joint ventures and small, local, veteran-owned businesses. This incentive was expanded in 2016 to include small, local businesses that are also veteran-owned without requiring a joint venture with another veteran-owned business or small, local business.
• Veteran-owned subcontractor bid incentive – up to 2% for utilization of veteran-owned subcontractors. The amount of the bid incentive depends on the total dollar value of work performed by veteran-owned subcontractors as a percentage of the total contract value.
• Service-disabled veteran-owned businesses can also apply to be certified as a Business Enterprises Owned or Operated by People with Disabilities (BEPD), which includes a bid incentive program, up to 4% on for utilization of BEPDs on a contract.
• Listing in City of Chicago Certified Firms Directory
For more information on programs and incentives, eligibility, and how to apply, visit the Department of Procurement Services website.