Small Business Initiative

Program Goal

The Illinois Tollway Small Business Initiative is intended to increase opportunities for small construction companies with gross revenues of $14 million or less annually to participate on Tollway construction contracts.

Program Overview

The Small Business 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 and subcontractors
  • Establishing diversity goals for select construction contracts on a project-by-project basis
  • Providing liability coverage for on-site activities for contractors and subcontractors through the Rolling Owner-Controlled Insurance Program (ROCIP)

Who Can Participate?

To compete for work on Small Business Initiative contracts, prime and subcontractors must have gross revenues of $14 million or less annually.

Prime contractors and subcontractors participating on Small Business Initiative contracts must be registered in the program. Prime contractors may utilize the Vendor Directory in B2GNow to find registered subcontractors.

How to Register

Participating firms must register for the program using the Illinois Tollway Diversity Program System. All Small Business Initiative documentation must be completed through this electronic system. 

The Diversity Program System allows vendors to easily complete online applications for registration, update contact information and look up registered firms. 

Firms must also be registered with the Chief Procurement Office for General Services Small Business Set-Aside Program (SBSP) as a small business.  

Small Business Contract Tiers

Contracts within the Small Business Initiative are advertised on the Tollway’s Construction Contract Bid Letting Schedule in three categories as listed below.

 IDOT or Capital Development Board prequalification may be requiredContracts reviewed for diversity goalsRequires self-performance goal of up to 40%
(estimated value of $1,000,000 or less)
(estimated value between 
$1,000,001 and $3,000,000)
(estimated value between 
$3,000,001 and $5,000,000)


Small Business Initiative Joint Ventures

A Small Business Initiative Joint Venture is an association of two or more firms registered in the Small Business Initiative proposing to perform as a prime contractor, in which each partner is responsible for a distinct, clearly defined portion of the work of the project and has a proportional share in risks and profits of the Small Business Initiative contract.

The combined gross revenue for any Small Business Joint Venture cannot exceed the state’s $14 million annual gross revenue threshold.

Firms interested in creating a Small Business Initiative joint venture to participate on Small Business Initiative contracts must complete the pre-assessment form located here. Once the pre-assessment form has been received and reviewed, a username and password will be sent so that the firm may complete the registration application in the Diversity Program System. 

For more information on small business joint ventures, click here to read the Special Provision for Small Business Initiative.