The State of Illinois maintains a partnership among five agencies, those being the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the City of Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, and Pace, which work together to provide the Illinois Unified Certification Program (IL UCP). The IL UCP offers a single point at which Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program applicants can attempt to attain DBE certification. To become a certified DBE, a business must be involved in non-vertical highway construction-related services, consultantancy, supplier/equipment services, or rental/trucking services. A directory of DBEs, as well as various disparity studies, are available from IDOT.
Does this certification expire? The certification remains valid so long as the DBE submits Annual No Change Affadavits and remains within the minimum eligibility standards, as verified by the initial certification.
Are there multiple agencies that offer this certification in the state? The IL UCP certifies firms for the state of Illinois, though businesses may need to apply with to one in particular of its constituent entities, depending on their line of work.
Does this program require bidders attempt to make a good-faith effort to meet participation goals? Bidders on projects receiving federal funds must make a good-faith effort to meet the goal if such a goal has been attached to the project.
Is any loan or bonding assistance provided through this program? A number of programs are available through IDOT's DBE Supportive Services program (https://idot.illinois.gov/doing-business/procurements/Industry-Marketplace/dbe-supportive-services/index), including but not limited to a Reimbursement Program for certain categories of expenses, a Business Development Program, and a DBE Working Capital Revolving Loan Program.