MBE/WBE Certification Process

Bally’s seeks to employ as many Minority-owned Business Enterprise (“MBE”) and Women-owned Business Enterprise (“WBE”) certified companies as possible for the construction of both its temporary and permanent casino developments in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to its internal goal, Bally’s is required to employ MBE/WBE certificated companies as a part of its commitment in its Host Community Agreement (“HCA”) that it recently executed with the City of Chicago (“City”). The following memorandum explains the certification process for MBE/WBE Companies which seek the City’s certification.


The HCA refers to Section 2-92-670 of the municipal code, which defines all of the terms of the City’s MBE/WBE program. This section includes the following definitions:

  • MBE: A small local business enterprise which is at least 51% owned by one ore more economically disadvantaged minority persons.
  • WBE: A small local business enterprise which is at least 51% owned by one or more economically disadvantaged women.
  • Local: A business located within Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will county in the state of Illinois.

Certification Process

The process of City of Chicago MBE/WBE certification requires an application to the City of Chicago Department of Procurement Services (“DPS”). The certification process also requires an application fee of $250, and the submittal of backup documentation and affidavits. The list of requirements of the application is listed here. A link to all of the forms can be found here.

In order to satisfy the “Local” portion of the requirements, the applicant entity must prove that the primary location from which the applicant conducts is business is from one of the six counties mentioned above. The principal place of business is usually the location where the books and records are kept and/or where management works. If there is more than one business location, the principal place of business is based on the following factors:

  1. the relative importance of the activities performed at each location; and
  2. if the relative importance factor does not determine the principal place of business, then it is the time spent at each location.

In addition to local minority and women ownership, the business must also prove that the gross receipts have not exceeded $41,070,574.08, averaged out over there years for non-construction firms. Construction firms are subject to the Small Business Association (“SBA”) size standards averaged over seven years. For construction firms, the MBE/WBE must also prove that the owner has a personal net worth of less than $2,379,729.

Once all applicable forms and attachments are submitted to DPS, the application will be reviewed and a determination made. This process typically takes approximately 90 days from the date DPS receives all required documents. The granting of the certification is good for a period of five years from the date of certification, as long as an annual “No Change Affidavit” is submitted.


All applicant entities seeking a new certification should inform Bally’s of its plans for certification to DPS. If an entity is already certified by the City, the entity shall submit all certification documents to Bally’s. New and existing certified enterprises shall abide by the processes and requirements of the DPS program as summarized above and as listed on the DPS website.