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Learn About Metro Peoria

The Metro Peoria Committee, a joint effort between Peoria County and the City of Peoria, identifies, investigates, and implements collaboration initiatives intended to improve efficiencies and save tax payer dollars. Click here to learn how Metro Peoria is collaborating for our future.

Minority Business Enterprise Ad-hoc Committee

MBE CONTRACTOR DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE

 

Peoria County has partnered with The Cayemitte Group (TCG), the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (ILBCC), and the Minority Business Development Institute (MBDI) to launch the MBE Contractor Development Initiative (CDI)(www.cdipeoria.com).

This program has been designed to build capacity for contractors who are MBEs (minority, women, or disadvantaged business owners). The support offered by the CDI will assist these business owners with attaining economic independence and entrepreneurial success, with a goal of creating more diversity in Peoria County’s public works contracting. Services that will be provided under the CDI program, at no charge to the participating companies, include:

  • Consulting,
  • Training,
  • General Business Development Assistance (including marketing, procurement, and certification, etc. assistance),
  • Strategic Management,
  • Technical Assistance,
  • Mentorship, and
  • Bond Readiness Program (including workshops, webinars and one on one consulting services to help firms optimize their ability to qualify for bonding).

The CDI services will begin with an in-depth business evaluation and assessment of each participating MBE client followed by comprehensive support services tailored to the specific needs of each client including one-on-one assistance and team assistance. Firms selected to participate in the Bond Readiness Program component will be invited to attend a rich curriculum of workshops and webinars supplemented with one on one strategic consulting sessions. The ultimate goal of the CDI is to help firms build the necessary capacity to qualify for bonding and access the capital essential to participating on public and private construction projects throughout the County and region.


Peoria County is committed to improving the economic viability of minority, women and disadvantaged enterprises (collectively referred to as MBEs). Small businesses create jobs for local citizens and keep money circulating within the community. In urban communities like Peoria, MBEs are particularly important because they tend to hire other minorities as employees in much greater percentages than non-MBE firms.  Small and minority-owned businesses face several challenges, however.

Minorities make up nearly 26% of the population in Peoria County but only account for only 10% of all businesses.  In the construction field alone, US Census data shows that of Peoria County’s 1,761 construction firms, only 7% are minority owned.  What may be more concerning is the unknown percentage of work these companies are able to successfully bid on and receive.

To level the business playing field and help to support the economic vitality of urban communities, state and local governments, like Peoria County, have created policies and programs to increase participation opportunities for MBEs. More specifically, Peoria County, through its ad hoc MBE Committee, has recognized a need to help build minority contractor capacity in our county and region.   The county is focusing in this area particularly for several reasons:

  • Construction is an industry that relies heavily on public funding through federal, state, and local governments that build roads, schools, transportation systems.
  • Construction is profitable and can support workers with good wages, even at basic levels of education.
  • There is a strong construction industry in place for the Peoria area that could serve to mentor in an MBE Contractor Development Initiative.
  • Lastly, the reality of a recent $1.5 million fine on a local contractor for using a minority firm as a “front” drives home the need to develop qualified minority contractors in our area.

Go to www.cdipeoria.com for mor information.


MBE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

 

  • Rachael Parker             (Peoria County board member and chair)
  • Mike Phelan                 (Peoria County board member)
  • Mary Ardapple              (Peoria County board member)
  • Sharon Williams           (Peoria County board member)
  • Denise Moore               (City of Peoria council member)
  • Stephanie Brock
  • Marty Clinch
  • Don Gorman
  • Marty Helfers
  • Brandon Holmes
  • Charles Randle
  • Diane Russell

MBE COMMITTEE PURPOSE

 

Peoria County's Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Ad-hoc Committee was created to address a glaring lack of county dollars spent on contracts with, and procurements from, minority, women, and disadvantaged-owned businesses (collectively known as MBEs). Representatives from minority advocacy groups, local trade unions, institutes of higher education, private business, and the faith-based community join Peoria County board members and staff on this committee.

The MBE Committee's mission is to create an environment that stimulates greater participation from all parts of the community with particular emphasis on new and minority owned businesses. The MBE Committee has adopted a strategic plan to achieve the following goals:

  • Participation: Increase Peoria County bid awards to MBEs
  • Capacity: Build MBE capacity within the community
  • Outreach: Raise awareness of the opportunities and resources available to new and minority business owners

The MBE Committee strives to create an environment that fosters expansion of small businesses and serves as a catalyst for new enterprises. The Committee intends to elevate and stimulate MBE growth, cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships, expand financial sustainability for local businesses, and engage the community to improve the quality of life for all citizens of Peoria County. Eventually, Peoria County's MBE initiative will become the leading model of excellence in county governments nationwide.


MBE COMMITTEE GOALS


Participation:   Increase Peoria County bid opportunities for MBEs

In the past three years, the MBE Committee has experienced much progress, most notably a ten-fold increase in spending with minority-owned businesses over the previous five-year period and an increase in the County's bid threshold. To simplify the bidding process, the County has enhanced its website to include information on becoming a vendor and how to register for a bid. We have also contracted with CertifiedMinorityBiz.com, an online tool that notifies minority business owners of compatible bid opportunities with Peoria County.

Capacity:   Build MBE capacity within the community

With assistance from the City of Peoria, the Black Chamber of Commerce, the State of Illinois, and other partner agencies, Peoria County was able to develop a comprehensive database of local minority-owned businesses. Establishing this list gives the County a starting point from which to build capacity.

Peoria County provides financial assistance to entrepreneurs through its Government Assistance Program or GAP Loan Program. Entrepreneurs and business owners seeking to expand their business are able to get low interest loans through Peoria County to help fill the "GAP" that may exist between bank financing and personal investment. For more information on the GAP Loan Program, please call (309) 672-6056.

The MBE Committee hopes to create a "one-stop shop" to serve as a central resource for entrepreneurs. Short term tasks include sowing partnerships with local advocacy groups and service providers, cultivating a successful mentoring program from these partnerships, and facilitating resources for budding businesses. These steps will increase MBE capacity within the community by providing a conduit from conception to completion for entrepreneurs and existing MBEs hoping to expand.

Outreach:   Raise awareness of the opportunities and resources available to new and minority business owners

The MBE Committee is using many outlets to raise awareness of opportunities and resources that are helpful to local MBEs. They are also bringing attention to minority business owners' success stories. Outreach methods include articles in local business publications, e-Newsletter features, participation in business trade shows, periodic workshops and forums, and personal contacts with local business owners. Raising awareness of the Committee and its efforts is crucial to the program's success; if people do not know a resource is available to them, they cannot benefit from the resource.

Interested entrepreneurs and minority business owners may contact Peoria County for more information about our MBE initiative:


Purchasing Officer: (309) 672-6931
EEO Specialist: (309) 495-4860


MBE Committee's Strategic Plan


OTHER RESOURCES


Illinois Business Financial Services
124 SW Adams Street, Suite 190
Peoria, IL 61602 
(309) 674-5800 
www.ibfs.org

Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce
331 Fulton Street, Suite 530
Peoria, IL. 61602
(309) 740-4430
www.ilbcc.org

Illinois Finance Authority
100 S.W. Water Street
Peoria, IL. 61602
(309) 495-5959
www.il-fa.com

Peoria Black Chamber of Commerce
331 Fulton Street, Suite 530
Peoria, IL. 61602
(309) 672-1365

Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
Offices of the Heartland Partnership
100 SW Water Street
Peoria, IL 61602

SCORE
Chapter #0090
100 S.W. Water Street
Peoria, IL. 61602
(309) 676-0755
www.scorepeoria.org

Turner Center for Entrepreneurship
Illinois Small Business Development Center

1501 W. Bradley Avenue
141 Jobst Hall
Peoria, IL. 61625
(309) 677-4321
www.bradley.edu/turnercenter

Featured Content

Learn About Metro Peoria

The Metro Peoria Committee, a joint effort between Peoria County and the City of Peoria, identifies, investigates, and implements collaboration initiatives intended to improve efficiencies and save tax payer dollars. Click here to learn how Metro Peoria is collaborating for our future.

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