WBEZ | Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program http://www.wbez.org/tags/minority-and-women-owned-business-enterprise-program Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Emanuel expands minority, women city contracts program http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-expands-minority-women-city-contracts-program-95633 <p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to announce a new program Thursday that gives minority and women-owned businesses seeking city contracts extra support.</p><p>Emanuel is establishing a “phase-out graduation” program to give businesses additional support as they outgrow the women and minority program.</p><p>Jamie Rhee, the commissioner of procurement in Chicago, said the vendor community complained that they are penalized once they are finished with the program. Many businesses that graduate reapply for certification within a few years.</p><p>“What we consistently kept getting back from our vendor community is listen if we graduate, it’s sort of like you’re kicking us out of the program and we have the ability to fail,” Rhee said.</p><p>Emanuel’s new ordinance would allow those small businesses to continue getting subcontracts at a reduced rate for three years even though they aren’t on the city contract list.</p><p>A 2010 city inspector general report on the minority and women business program highlighted fraud, abuse and mismanagement.</p><p>Mayor Harold Washington started the affirmative action program for city contracts in 1985. In 2010, the city inspector general highlighted fraud, abuse and mismanagement of the program.</p><p>An analysis of 2008 contracts found that payments to MWBEs and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises were more than 15 percent less than the city’s publicly reported statistics.</p></p> Wed, 18 Jan 2012 21:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-expands-minority-women-city-contracts-program-95633 Inspector General Joe Ferguson maps out challenges of MWBE program http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-12/inspector-general-joe-ferguson-maps-out-challenges-mwbe-program-85064 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-12/city construction.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On Monday <em>Crain’s Chicago Business</em> <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20110409/ISSUE01/304099979/crains-investigation-wal-marts-austin-project-comes-up-short" target="_blank">reported</a> that Wal-Mart fell short in its promise to be a good neighbor to parts of Chicago’s minority communities. The company hired a black woman contractor to build its first Chicago store in Austin on the city’s West Side. But much of the work went to non-minority owned contractors.</p><p>While Wal-Mart is a corporate entity, the City of Chicago has a program to ensure minority businesses get some of the construction action. But some say the <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/comp/provdrs/certification_andcompliancesupplierdiversity/svcs/mbe_wbe_bepd_programs.html" target="_blank">Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program</a>, or MWBE, isn’t hitting its goals.<br> <br> Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson issued <a href="http://chicagoinspectorgeneral.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Report_MWBE-ProgramReview.pdf" target="_blank">a report in 2010</a> detailing the program’s shortcomings. In May he will issue an update to the report. He joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to explain what challenges exist for minority and women-owned businesses seeking contracts.</p></p> Tue, 12 Apr 2011 13:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-12/inspector-general-joe-ferguson-maps-out-challenges-mwbe-program-85064