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In an effort to make it easier to do business with the City of Chicago, boost competition and increase participation, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chief Procurement Officer Jamie Rhee hosted the City of Chicago’s first Construction Summit to provide contractors -- including small, minority- and women-owned firms -- with preliminary details on Building a New Chicago and other contract opportunities to be awarded in 2013 totaling $500 million to $1 billion.
“We are providing an unprecedented amount of resources and information to hundreds of construction contractors and subcontractors to ease participation and increase competition in the bidding process,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Small, minority- and women-owned companies can determine which upcoming contracts they wish to bid on directly or offer their services as subcontractors to companies that require assistance on larger contracts.”
Chicago, Cook County and Illinois State agencies participated in the summit to provide information to a wide number of firms. More than 300 people representing hundreds of construction companies, suppliers and manufacturers gathered information on hundreds of construction projects due to be bid in 2013. These projects are expected to create thousands of jobs.
“One of our key goals is to increase the diversity of the businesses that bid on and earn city contracts,” said Rhee. “Increasing their access to details in advance will help them bid as primary contractors, but also allow them to consider teaming up with other firms to serve as subcontractors on larger contracts.”
In addition to the government agencies, numerous trade associations, chambers of commerce and business groups participated in the event at Malcolm X College to encourage greater networking of firms of all sizes.
This announcement is the latest in a series of efforts made by Mayor Emanuel to increase opportunity for MBEs/WBEs. Additional announcements have included the MBE/WBE Mentorship Program, Diversity Business Initiative, the Small Business Initiative, and the Graduation Phase-out Program for MBEs/WBEs.