Small Business Initiative

Program Goal

The Illinois Tollway Small Business Initiative is intended to increase opportunities for small construction companies to participate on Tollway construction contracts.

Program Overview

The initiative puts small businesses in a position to succeed and grow by:

  • Identifying select construction contracts, generally with values of approximately $5 million or less, specifically for small businesses to perform as prime contractors
  • Establishing Diversity Goals for select construction contracts on a project-by-project basis

Who Can Participate?

Firms must be registered with the State as a small business and meet the following criteria:

How to Get Involved

Firms must meet the qualification criteria and register within the Illinois Procurement Gateway as a small business in order to bid on Small Business Initiative Tollway contracts. More information on the state’s Small Business Set-Aside Program may be found on the Illinois Procurement Gateway at ipg.vendorreg.com.

Firms already registered as a small business with the Illinois Procurement Gateway can register using the Diversity Program System Registration for Small Business Initiative. The Diversity Program System allows vendors the ability to easily register with the Tollway’s Small Business Initiative (SBI), complete on-line applications for registration, update contact information, and look-up registered firms.

Going forward, all SBI documentation must be completed through this electronic system. The Diversity & Strategic Development Department will not accept paper applications and supporting documentation postmarked after March 29, 2021.

Small Business Contract Tiers

Contracts within the Small Business Initiative shall be advertised on the Tollway’s bidding schedule in three categories as listed below.

Small Business Tier 1

  • Construction contracts with an engineers’ estimated dollar value of $1,000,000 or less
  • Prequalification from Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) is not required.
  • Contracts will not include Diversity Goals*
  • Contracts may include Rolling Owners Construction Insurance Program (ROCIP).
  • Requires a self-performance goal of up to 40 percent, determined on a project-by project basis.
  • Prime contractors will be required to utilize only small businesses. 

Small Business Tier 2

  • Construction contracts with an engineers’ estimated dollar value between $1,000,001 and $3,000,000.
  • Prequalification from IDOT and CDB is not required unless otherwise stipulated by the Tollway in the specifications of the bid documents.
  • Contracts include Diversity goals. 
  • Contracts may include Rolling Owners Construction Insurance Program (ROCIP).
  • Requires a self-performance goal of up to 40 percent, determined on a project-by project basis.
  • Prime contractors will be required to utilize only small businesses.

Small Business Tier 3

  • Construction contracts with an engineers’ estimated dollar range between $3,000,001 and $5,000,000.
  • Prequalification from IDOT and CDB is not required unless otherwise stipulated by the Tollway in the specifications of the bid documents.
  • Contracts include Diversity goals. 
  • Contracts may include Rolling Owners Construction Insurance Program (ROCIP).
  • Requires a self-performance goal of up to 40 percent, determined on a project-by project basis.
  • Prime contractors will be required to utilize only small businesses.

*This is based on the State’s Small Business Set-Aside Program contract categories

Firms interested in creating a Small Business Joint Venture to participate on Small Business Initiative Contracts must complete the preassessment form located here. Once the preassessment form has been received and reviewed, a username and password will be sent in order for the firm to complete the Small Business Joint Venture registration application in the Diversity Program System.   

For more information on Small Business Joint Venture, please read the Small Business Initiative Special Provision below. 

Read the Special Provision for Small Business Initiative Program here.

If you'd like to read the ROCIP frequently asked questions and their responses, click here.