TA Provider for DBEs Interested in Providing Goods or Services to Anchor Institutions


The Greater Waukegan Development Coalition (GWDC) and the Community Contracting Steering Committee seek a Technical Assistance Provider to provide technical support for local disadvantaged businesses who are interested in providing goods or services to anchor institutions—but who need support in the following areas: (1) to build their business capacity; (2) to develop responses to Requests for Proposals at these institutions; (3) to successfully manage the administration of these contracts; and (4) to successfully accelerate their businesses in order to be able to deliver the deliverables for these contracts. GWDC is defining local disadvantaged businesses as local businesses owned by minorities, women, persons with disabilities and/or veterans. In this proposal, we are particularly interested in finding a technical assistance provider with experience providing technical assistance to Black-owned businesses in Waukegan, Zion, North Chicago, Park City, and the Village at Beach Park.

GWDC is a community development organization that fosters economic development in economically challenged communities. Because research has found that no one initiative or program can revitalize a community on its own, GWDC focuses on holistic economic and community development grounded in the values and resources of each community.

GWDC’s vision is to inspire the community both economically and culturally while helping build the next generation of leaders.

GWDC’s Community Contracting Project was recently funded by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA). The Greater Waukegan Community Contracting Project will work to ensure that more contracts from large local institutions in Greater Waukegan go to local small businesses—especially those owned by women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans. It will do this by:

  1. Supporting local disadvantaged businesses that need help in preparing to bid contracts at anchor institutions.
  2. Providing technical assistance to large public institutions and corporations in the Greater Waukegan region, to help them shift their procurement practices to make it easier for small, local, disadvantaged businesses to bid.
  3. Providing matchmaking services to help large public institutions and corporations build relationships with local disadvantaged businesses.
  1. Identify local disadvantaged business enterprises (defined as businesses owned by minorities, women, persons with disabilities and/or veterans) in the communities of Waukegan, Zion, North Chicago, Park City, and the Village at Beach Park that are interested in developing their business model in order to be able to bid contracts at local anchor institutions.
  2. Develop a (formal or informal) assessment to help DBEs identify the capacities they need to build in order to be in a position to bid contracts at local anchor institutions.
  3. Support DBEs in building the capacities that the assessment identified. Support might include teaching specific skills, providing coaching in developing specific tools (such as a capability statement), connecting the business to resources, or helping the business hire external support (such as a contract bookkeeper).
  4. Support DBEs in finding RFPs that they are eligible to bid and developing a competitive bid.
  5. Support DBEs who are awarded the bid through the initial months of the project, in order to ensure they have the ability to successfully provide the contract deliverables and meet the administrative requirements.

GWDC staff and the Community Contracting Steering Committee will be available to provide ongoing guidance and support for the project. However, the contracted individual or firm should bring solid expertise in the area of equitable procurement, as well as a commitment to meeting local disadvantaged business enterprises “where they are at” and supporting them in their journey as they work to bid more contracts with anchor institutions.

  • Experience supporting disadvantaged Business Enterprises) in the communities of Waukegan, Zion, North Chicago, Park City, and the Village at Beach Park. We are particularly interested in finding a technical assistance provider with experience providing technical assistance to Black-owned businesses.
  • Experience with procurement processes at anchor institutions.
  • Experience with helping small businesses develop the capacity to provide bids for goods or services at anchor institutions.
  • Experience coaching small businesses in using the tools available to them to better understand where anchor institutions post their needs for goods and services.
  • Experience supporting small businesses through the first 3-6 months of a contract in order to ensure their success in both meeting the administrative requirements of the contract, as well as in successfully completing the deliverables.
  • Excellent organizational skills; able to manage the scope of work and complete deliverables in a timely manner.
  • Self-motivated, collaborative, detail oriented, able to work effectively both within a team and in self-directed situations.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills; able to give and receive feedback.
  • Growth mindset.
  • Competency with computers; familiarity with (or ability to learn) programs such as Microsoft Office Suite, G Suite, Dropbox, and Google Meet.
  • The business/organization responding should be located in the community it will serve (Lake County, Illinois).
  • The business/organization responding should not plan to subcontract any work to other businesses or organizations.

Qualified applicants will be considered without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, or any other class protected by law. Applicants from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to submit proposals.

A criminal history background check may be conducted on the individuals who will be working on the project. A criminal background will not automatically eliminate such individuals from consideration.

We seek proposals from firms or individuals who would be a third party contracted by GWDC.  The initial contract will be for approximately 6-7 months. There may be an option to extend the contract, should funding allow.

The contractor is expected to use her/his/their own workspace and equipment, including computer, software, and phone.

Proposals must include the following elements, in order. Proposals should only be in MS Word or PDF format. Email all proposals to Shaquita Blanks at shaquita@greaterwaukegan.org.

  1. Contact Information: Name, organization (if applicable), and contact information.
  2. Services Needed: Briefly describe how you will address the services listed in Section III.
  3. Experience: Briefly describe your experience with providing the services needed.
  4. Cost: Provide a cost plan for the Services Needed. Note: GWDC’s current budget for this project is $28,000.
  5. Resume: Resume(s) for relevant staff.
  6. References: Name, phone number, and email contact information for two to three (2-3) references that can speak to your experience.

Our intent is for the proposal writing and reviewing processes to be expedient and not overly burdensome. Your brevity is appreciated.

Section VIII: Evaluation:  Applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Experience supporting disadvantaged business enterprises (especially Black-owned businesses) with procurement at anchor institutions. 30% The strongest candidates will have years of experience in supporting DBEs with anchor institution procurement. Strong candidates may not have specific experience with anchor institution procurement, but will have experience supporting disadvantaged business enterprises (especially Black-owned businesses) in growing and successfully taking on larger projects or contracts.
  2. Ability to leverage existing connections in the Greater Waukegan area and grow new ones. 20% The strongest candidates will be located in Lake County and will be well-connected to disadvantaged business enterprises in the Greater Waukegan region (especially Black-owned businesses) and be able to build on these connections to develop new connections with businesses in the region. Strong candidates may not have existing relationships, but can demonstrate the ability to build these relationships quickly, in order to be successful in the project.
  3. Proposal value. 20% The strongest proposals will be structured so that the services proposed provide the highest value for the contract cost. While this process is not structured so that GWDC intends to only choose the lowest bid, value is an important consideration. The strongest proposals will be able to provide the services requested themselves, without subcontracting services to others.

Administrative capacity. 20% This project is funded through a grant with the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), and the successful TA provider will need to comply with contract requirements from ICJIA. Successful candidates will demonstrate their capacity to comply with the ICJIA requirements by responding well to this proposal.

GWDC is more than happy to answer any questions that will help applicants better respond to the RFP or better understand our organization. If you have questions or need more information, please contact Program Manager Shaquita Blanks at shaquita@greaterwaukegan.org. Shaquita will work to make sure your question is answered by the appropriate staff or board member.

To be in the first round of consideration, please submit proposals by Friday, November 30, 2022.
GWDC will review proposals received and may request additional information from candidates or
an interview, in order to select the best candidate. The individual or firm chosen will be asked to
complete additional administrative forms for ICJIA compliance, and we hope to have a contract
signed by mid-December, 2022.