In an effort to boost minority and disadvantaged businesses’ participation in state contracting, Majority Leader James Clayborne (D-Belleville) sponsored legislation that aims to generate economic activity for businesses that participate in the Minority Business Enterprise program (MBE). The new law requires each state agency and public higher education institution to adopt policies to increase participation of MBEs in professional services contracts to no less than 20 percent of the contracts bid.
This legislation is primarily intended to increase minority business participation in the insurance industry, investment management services, engineering, accounting, legal services and information technology.
“This new law shows that Illinois is willing to make a long-term investment in small businesses,” Leader Clayborne said. “Minority businesses’ participation needs to increase to ensure consistent growth, which will help stimulate the surrounding community. Statistics of disadvantaged businesses’ participation in state contracting isn’t encouraging. New policies specifically targeted at minority business growth will produce more middle-class jobs in minority communities.”
The new law also requires the Business Enterprise Council to submit an annual report to the governor and General Assembly detailing how state agencies and higher education institutions plan on increasing their minority participation.
The new law takes effect immediately.