Program assists small & minority-owned companies
CHICAGO, IL â€“ Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka joined more than 50 area business leaders on Thursday in kicking-off POWER, an initiative launched by the state to assist small and minority-owned companies in competing for government contracts.
Created through legislation recently signed by the Governor, POWER (Providing Opportunities for Work through Education and Resources) teaches business owners about the state certification and procurement process, provides free counseling and guidance from leading executives through SCORE Chicago, and ensures members are alerted of state contract opportunities.
â€œThe success of our small businesses is key to getting our economy moving again, to creating the new jobs that are so badly needed,â€ Topinka said. â€œAnd at the same time, POWER will expand our state contractor network, which will increase competition and ultimately save the state money.â€
POWER is built upon three primary components. Specifically, the program:
- Â· Counsels entrepreneurs on becoming certified as a small or minority-owned business and guides them through the procurement process
- Â· Offers free business development workshops and private sector insights through partnership with SCORE Chicago, a nonprofit association that is dedicated to entrepreneur education
- Â· Provides ongoing communication, information and support to businesses as they compete for state contracts
The initiative will provide much-needed resources to small businesses, and ensure that they have the tools they need to succeed, said David Kirshner, SCORE Chicago Chapter Chairman.
â€œIt is encouraging to see this commitment from the state, and it will make a difference,â€ Kirshner said. â€œToo often, entrepreneurs simply donâ€™t know where to turn or how to navigate things like the stateâ€™s procurement process. The personal approach of POWER is exactly what is needed, and Iâ€™m excited about SCORE Chicagoâ€™sÂ involvement.â€
For more information on POWER, please visit illinoiscomptroller.com, or call 312/814-2451.