Emanuel to Increase Minority Construction Contracts

A new mayoral initiative announced Monday will credit construction companies who hire minority- and women-owned small businesses, and offer small businesses more contracts for city-funded projects less than $3 million.

Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said the new Diversity Credit Program will incentivize the hiring of these small businesses by city construction contractors. The initiative will increase the amount of contracts for minority- and women-owned firms from $28 million to $38 million for every $100 million that is contracted with outside firms, the mayor's office said in a statement.

For every $3 of private sector money shared with minority- and women-owned contractors, a company will get $1 worth of credit when it comes time to bid on subsequent city work with a maximum credit of five percent. That five percent could turn out to be the difference between being the low bidder or not.

Additionally, Emanuel announced the launch of the Small Business Initiative, a race- and gender- neutral program which will encourage city-funded construction projects under $3 million in total cost to be offered to local small businesses.

The mayor said the two programs will be implemented immediately and without an additional cost to taxpayers.

"I am committed to finding every way to maximize the value of taxpayer dollars, to encourage growth and development of business in Chicago,” Emanuel said. "These programs will leverage taxpayer resources to get a better deal for the City and promote growth in our small, minority- and women-owned businesses.”

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