Business Enterprises Owned by People with Disabilities (BEPD) Initiative
The City of Chicago is committed to increasing economic opportunities for the disability community through a number of employment-related initiatives. One such initiative is the Business Enterprises Owned by People with Disabilities (BEPD) Program.
About the Program
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.
Benefits of Becoming Certified with the City of Chicago
Certification opens up new opportunities for your business. A new bid incentive program has been put in place to create more contracting opportunities for BEPDs. City certification lends credibility to your business or organization.
In order to qualify as a BEPD, the business must be located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, Lake or McHenry county.
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 disabilities
- A person with a disability who is contracting with the City as a sole proprietorship or individually
The Certification Process
Companies interested in applying for certification as a BEPD must first show proof of disability by completing the Schedule G Affidavit and accompanying physician’s statement and submit it to the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. MOPD reviews the documents to determine if the applicant qualifies as disabled-owned business.Qualifying companies can then submit the Schedule A Application for certification, as required by W/MBEs. Certification applications submitted with all required documents and complete answers to all questions can be processed within 60 days.
BEPD applications are available at:
The Bid & Bond Room, City Hall, Room 301
The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, City Hall, Room 104
The Department of Procurement Services website
Department of Procurement Services
Certification Unit Help Line: 312.742.0766 (voice) │ 312.744.2949 (TTY)
121 North LaSalle, Room 403 Chicago, IL 60602
Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
312.744.4495 (voice) │ 312.744.4964 (TTY) │ Laurie.Dittman@cityofchicago.org
Information about City of Chicago Business Licenses can be obtained at:
The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
City Hall, Room 800 │ 312.744.6060 (voice) │ 312.744.0246 (TTY)