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October 14, 2021

MBE/WBE Construction Program Amendment

We wanted to make you aware that on September 14, 2021 the Chicago City Council made significant changes to its MBE/WBE Program regulations. The amendments, which went into effect on October 1, 2021, affect the Local Requirements, Size Standards, and Personal Net Worth Calculation Regulations for MBE/WBE businesses in the construction industry. There are no changes to the Non-Construction Program.

Local Requirements

While the definition of a local business remains the same – “a business entity located within the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will in the State of Illinois” – a business is no longer required to have a majority of its regular, full-time work force located within this Six County Region.

Size Standards

This amendment has adjusted how the size standard for construction firms is assessed in two ways:

  • Gross receipts are now averaged over a period of 7 years instead of 5 years
  • The size standard for eligibility under construction program NAICS codes has been increased to 1.5 times the U.S. Small Business Administration’s size standards.

Personal Net Worth Calculation

While the personal net worth limit itself remains the same and will continue to be assessed and adjusted on an annual basis, this amendment now allows for additional exclusions when calculating an owners personal net worth. These new exclusions include:

  • The value of any individual’s ownership, either wholly owned or a spousal share, in any business that is not publicly held
  • The value of any individual’s equity, either wholly owned or a spousal share, in any real estate and any related fixtures or furnishings
  • The value of any individual’s pension plans, IRAs, 401(k) accounts, or other retirement or investment programs

We encourage you to discuss your plans with us to increase your involvement in the City’s contracting opportunities.

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