$12 MILLION IN FINANCING AND RISING
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Building Small Businesses (BSB) Program is an immersive financial capacity-building program tailored to ascend small, diverse businesses to the next level. BSB provides access to capital sourcing and bonding, procurement connections, and cultivates advanced organizational practices for small business owners.
The CTA BSB was launched in 2019 on the Red Purple Modernization Project to provide financial guidance and technical assistance to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs).
BSB is delivered by Ascend HI, a strategic collaboration that includes ZANN, Inc. (ZANN), The Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA U), Sustainable Options for Urban Living (S.O.U.L.), ABF Consulting Group (ABF), and Cumberland Irving (CI).
BUILDING SMALL BUSINESSES (BSB) BY THE NUMBERS
Participating small businesses
in loans awarded to small businesses
Small Businesses financed
Small Businesses receiving technical assistance
BSB PROGRAM PROCESS
The BSB Program components are fluid, designed to meet participants wherever they are in the process. Using a comprehensive approach, the program provides a guided "Success Pathway Plan" (SPP) for small businesses to transform their ability to pursue procurement on major infrastructure projects.
Participants will attend in-person orientation that includes an in-depth Fundamentals of Capital Sourcing presentation, and an overview of our Business Ascension
After completing the orientation, participants schedule and receive a confidential one-on-one assessment to identify the firm's readiness in financing, technical skills, performance/experience, and procurement acumen. The assessment will determine participants' needs and prescribe a pathway to program resources.
Attend Business Ascension Workshops
During the BSB assessment phase, our team will determine which areas of primary and secondary Business Ascension workshops are recommended for the program participant to move to the next step of the program.
For businesses ready for financing and/or bonding, having successfully built an infrastructure that can support growth through pursuit of additional projects. Once firms have competed their program, our team will develop a step-by-step process for procurement navigation.
In July 2022, Chicago Transit Authority Diversity Programs and Ascend HI kicked-off a successful launch of our Building Small Businesses (BSB) Program. Over 65 businesses joined this financial capacity-building program tailored to ascend small businesses to the next level.
BUILDING SMALL BUSINESSES PROGRAM FAQ
Can I attend the orientation session virtually?Yes, BSB Orientation Sessions will be hybrid (offered both virtually and in-person).
Is there a cost to participate in BSB?There is no cost to participate in BSB. Our intention is to create an ecosystem to help you to scale your business. This will be a collaborative effort between our program participants (YOU) and the Ascend HI Team.
Are the Business Ascension workshops mandatory for program participation?Although the Business Ascension workshops are not mandatory, we strongly encourage participation. BSB's access to capital sourcing and Business Ascension workshops offer cohesive, complementary resources and training. Attending the workshops will assist you in preparing your business for procurement readiness.
How do I signup for a one-on-one session?You will have an opportunity to sign up for a one-on-one session during the BSB Orientation Session registration. If registration is closed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for one-on-one scheduling.
Is this program for construction-related small businesses only?Yes, BSB is focused on construction related industries, however it is also open to other industries.
BSB ORIENTATIONS/BUSINESS ASCENSION WORKSHOPS CALENDAR
Register for the
The Ascend HI team culminates more than 75 years of successful broad-based entrepreneurial training by subject matter experts in their respective fields. The vision of the Ascend HI Team is to cultivate authentic Small Business Partner relationships with CTA, prime contractors, suppliers, and vendors in a collaborative effort to scale and grow small businesses. Each partner brings a wealth of intelligence presented in cohorts, workshops, and virtual webinars, in addition to one-on-one mentoring, coaching, and training to enhance small business growth. The Ascend HI team has deep roots and relationships in the greater Chicago region, where they are active servant leaders in the communities where they live, work, and play.
ABF has become the leading developer of DBE and SBE programs assisting small to large Construction Basedfirms and vendors with building financial capacity through education, consulting, and capital placement. We provide the knowledge and funds to accelerate growth and expand teams that enable contract participation.
Founded in 1979, the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association(HACIA) is a construction advocacy and membership organization working to ensure the equitable participation of diverse construction professionals in the industry. HACIA promotes the growth and fair inclusive practices of its members.
S.O.U.L. is a non-profit community organization dedicated to creating more sustainable living options for urban residents and businesses. S.O.U.L. specializes in workforce, entrepreneurial training, and technical assistance for construction, transportation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy contractors.