Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law that will help minority- and female-owned businesses more fairly compete for state-funded construction and business contracts. The action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to make business opportunities available to everyone in Illinois and to drive the state's economy forward.
"This new law will level the playing field and provide equal opportunity for all firms to participate in state projects," Governor Quinn said. "I am committed to doing everything necessary to ensure that participation in our public works projects reflects the rich diversity of our state."
Senate Bill 2320, sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) and State Representative Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), allows businesses that are owned by females who are also minorities to be certified as both "female owned businesses" and "minority owned businesses." Previously, when participating in state contracts, a firm had to choose one designation or the other. This legislation will directly increase the pool of vendors in both categories and increase the chance these firms have of participating in state contracts.
"I'm pleased that our state is finally recognizing the full diversity of our business community," Senator Hunter said. "If a business is owned by someone who is a racial minority and of the female gender, the classification of that enterprise should be able to reflect that."
"To make our state more business-friendly we must improve economic opportunities for all," Representative Gabel said. "There are many qualified female and minority business owners who deserve fair consideration for state contracts and a more competitive bidding process will help lower costs for the state."
The new law takes effect immediately.