CHICAGO – The State of Illinois’ Business Enterprise Program has launched a new, web-based certification management system. The system is accessible to all minority, female, people with disabilities, and veteran-owned businesses seeking certification with the State of Illinois.
The transition away from paper-based certification aims to provide a faster and more efficient service when conducting business with the state.
“Certification with BEP will create new opportunities for minority-owned businesses to grow and succeed. Making it easier and more convenient for businesses to certify with BEP is one important step CMS is taking to increase the number of BEP certified businesses and to ensure that state purchasing reflects the great diversity of the Illinois business community,” said Acting Director Michael M. Hoffman of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, which manages the program.
The new BEP certification portal aims to improve user experience, offering vendors the following key benefits:
• The elimination of the need to submit multiple paper-based forms
• Automated online application process
• Real time certification status and updates
• Enhanced online BEP, VBP Directory, with key-word search capabilities and National Institute of Governmental Purchasing codes
• Ability to migrate data and receive certifications data from CTA, City of Chicago and Cook County governments
To help vendors register and learn how to navigate the new portal, CMS will host a training workshop on Tuesday, Aug. 30, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.at 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Vendors may also register for other training opportunities by visiting the portal.
The BEP online certification portal can be accessed at www.opportunities.illinois.gov. Vendors interested in certifying with BEP can learn more by calling (312) 814-4190 or 1 (800) 356-9206, or by emailing BEP.CMS@illinois.gov.
— From the Illinois Business Journal