BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The City of Bloomington has created an opportunity for both women and minority-owned businesses to work with the city. On Thursday, the city launched the Bloomington Equity Advancement Program (BEAP).

The city now has participation targets for construction contracts exceeding $50,000. The prime contractors will then demonstrate “Good Faith Effort” in their subcontracting opportunities. Contractors will allocate 5% of the contract value to Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) and 10% of the contract value to Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs).

The initiative also requires 2% of total project hours to be contributed by women workers and 12% to be contributed by minority workers.

Michael Hurt, Bloomington’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, said the program is a way to level the playing field.

“Historically when we looked back at those entities who were doing business with the city there was an obvious lack of participation from the companies we are trying to address now,” said Hurt. “This is just going to be our way of doing business from now on. What we hope to have is, we will grow some businesses so that we can have some of these disenfranchised businesses become our prime contractors.”

The program will also facilitate mentorship collaborations with prime contractors. To sign-up for the program contact Michael Hurt at 309-434-2468 or