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March 29, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich and IDOT reach out to small and emerging businesses
“Get Ready for Prime Time” offers networking opportunity; provides tips for working with the State

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary Timothy W. Martin today announced an upcoming conference to provide new and emerging business owners, particularly small, female, and minority-owned businesses, a chance to get information on doing business with the State of Illinois. The “Get Ready for Prime Time” conference, hosted by IDOT on April 5th, provides a unique networking opportunity for start-up businesses to meet with prime contractors and find out what they look for when they need a sub-contractor.

“One of the top priorities of my administration is creating jobs. Small businesses are the backbone of the Illinois economy and we have to get them the information they need to be successful,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “By hosting this conference, IDOT is helping to do just that - provide start-up business owners the technical assistance they need to Get Ready For Prime Time.”

The “Get Ready for Prime Time” conference is primarily directed toward Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), which typically are small, minority and woman owned businesses. However, the conference is open to any companies interested in working with IDOT or other branches of state government and related entities.

“We are committed to diversity, not just in our workplace, but on our jobsites,” Secretary Martin said. “We are working with communities to get the resources in place that small businesses need and this is just one of the ways we are trying to do it. We have opened a one stop shop in Chicago and will soon open another in the Metro East area and we continue to push our prime contractors to meet our goals of minority participation on each and every job.”

The conference will offer information on a variety of topics that will assist small businesses including workshops on financing, bonding, getting work as a sub-contractor, how to find work and using technology to access state government. It will conclude with a roundtable, “Ask the Expert,” forum featuring participants from throughout IDOT.

The “Get Ready for Prime Time” DBE conference will be held at the Renaissance Hotel in Springfield on Tuesday, April 5, 2005, from 8:30 a.m to 6:00 p.m. Registration is free and begins at 8:00 a.m. the day of the conference.

“As a small business owner, working with IDOT technical experts has been a tremendous asset for me to get my company off the ground and on the road to success,” said LaJobie Mosley, owner of Mosley Construction. “Working with IDOT experts is opening doors for my business, giving me the information I need to make my company competitive.”

According to the US Small Business Administration, there were approximately 969,700 small businesses in Illinois as of 2003. Of those, 27.2% were owned by women, generating $44.3 billion in revenue. Minorities owned 21.5% of these companies, generating 90% of the total revenue from minority-owned business in the state.

Some of the items and services IDOT and the rest of state government seek bids on include: road/bridge construction/improvement, airport construction/improvement, consultant engineering services, land surveying, land acquisition appraisals, negotiations and relocations, landscaping, heavy material hauling, public relations, training, auditing, information technology, technical writing, vehicles, heavy construction equipment, mowing tractors, power tools, generators, materials testing equipment, surveying equipment, ice melting compounds, sign posts, sign making materials, traffic marking paints, safety apparel, office supplies, janitorial supplies, hand tools, repair parts, hardware, building maintenance and repair, grounds maintenance, equipment repair, guardrail and fence repair, traffic signal and highway lighting maintenance, advertising services and equipment rental.


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