Small Businesses Have Opportunity With State

The State of Illinois has a Small Business Set-Aside program which focuses on helping Illinois' small businesses.  Below are some frequently asked questions about the Set-Aside program.

Why should I do business with the State of Illinois? 
The State of Illinois spends billions of dollars purchasing thousands of different products and services each year. The State’s demand is consistent and the State has a number of incentives to help Illinois’ small businesses grow and prosper.

The Small Business Contracts Act (Public Act 97-307) recognizes the economic impact of small business and sets an annual goal that at least 10% of the State’s contracts are awarded to small business.

How will I compete against a very large company for State contracts?
You won’t have to! To promote contracting with small business, the Small Business Set-Aside Program (SBSP) designates 64 product and service categories that the State will procure from small business. You’ll only bid against other small businesses.

  • From July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, the State spent nearly $114 million (out of more than $7 billion) with registered small businesses as a result of the SBSP program. 
  • Our goal is to annually award 10% of the State’s contracts (approximately $700 million) with registered small businesses in Illinois. 
What if I don’t sell a product or offer a service in the 64 set-aside categories? 
The State still wants to do business with you. As part of the SBSP, the Chief Procurement Office requires state agencies making one-time commodity and service procurements of $50,000 and less to purchase from registered small businesses. These procurements are not category specific. 
Do I qualify as a small business? 
The State defines small business based on industry, annual revenue, and number of employees in the case of the manufacturing industry. 
Annual gross revenues:  
  • Retail/service < $6 million 
  • Wholesale < $10 million 
  • Construction < 10 million 
  • Manufacturing < $10 million (wholesale) and < 250 employees

Click for the application, a checklist, and an information card.


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