OCC - Certification

Service Information

The Office of Contract Compliance (“OCC”) maintains the highest commitment to diversity, equity and transparency. OCC manages certifications of small businesses in Cook, Kane, DuPage, McHenry, Will and Lake counties that are minority and women-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and business enterprises owned or operated by people with disabilities seeking Cook County contracting opportunities. 

What We Do

How We Do It

Program Requirements 

Eligibility Requirements: 

Ownership: At least 51% of the business entity must be owned by one or more women or minority groups. 

Independence: Must demonstrate the ability to independently perform in the firm’s area of specialty/expertise and not tied to another firm or ineligible group in such a way as to compromise its independence and control.  

Control: Must exercise control over the management and daily business operations of the firm. Eligible ownership must hold 51% or greater authority administratively and operationally with technical expertise in commodities sought for certification 

Expertise: Must demonstrate prior experience and expertise in the desired specialty area (i.e., training, licenses, certifications, or academic credentials).  

Location: Principal office (HQ) must be located in the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, Lake or McHenry  

Business Size: Firm’s gross receipts (including all affiliates) must not exceed 1.5x the maximum dollar threshold value (as applicable by industry) averaged over 7 years, under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards, https://www.sba.gov/document/support-table-size-standards

Personal Net Worth: The owners personal net worth must not exceed $2.7 million. 

Types of Certification 

  • MBE: Minority-Owned Business Enterprise
  • WBE: Women-Owned Business Enterprise
  • VBE: Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise
  • SDVBE: Service-Disabled Business Enterprise
  • PDBE: Persons with Disabilities Business Enterprise

*Must be 51% or more owned, operated, and controlled by these protected classifications

Certification Eligibility 

Qualifying Groups:

  • African-American
  • Hispanic
  • Asian
  • Native American
  • Women
  • Veterans
  • Persons with Disabilities

Local Business: the business’ principal office (where the business entity directs, controls, and coordinates its activities) and the majority of its regular, full-time work force is in the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will.

Benefits of Certification

  • Provides visibility - once certified your firm is listed in a directory which is accessible to the general public. cookcounty.diversitycompliance.com
  • There are minority, women and disadvantaged business participation goals and/or incentives on Cook County projects and through sister agencies.
  • There are businesses in the private sector that seek out certified firms for products and/or services. Cook County has reciprocity with the City of Chicago for a One-Stop-Shop.