June 11, 2003

CTA Teams up with Blue Line Community Advisory Panel To Discuss Business Opportunities Along Newly Rehabbed Blue Line

The CTA, along with the Economic Development Committee of the Cermak (Douglas) Blue Line Community Advisory Panel, will host a free informational meeting and workshop for local entrepreneurs interested in learning about potential business opportunities along the soon-to-be rehabilitated Cermak (Douglas) Blue Line and with the CTA.

The informational meeting will be held June 18, followed by the workshop on June 25. Both sessions will take place at the Homan Square Community Center, 3559 W. Arthington Avenue, in Rooms 8, 9 and 10 from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

At the informational meeting on June 18, CTA representatives will discuss how to conduct business with the agency, upcoming vender opportunities in the newly rehabilitated Blue Line concession spaces, and the benefits of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Certification. DBE Certification serves to increase business opportunities for qualified firms that are socially and economically disadvantaged. At the June 25 workshop, attendees will receive more in-depth information and CTA representatives will be on-hand to provide one-on-one assistance with completing documents required in the DBE certification process.

?These meetings will help small business, and minority and women business owners learn about concessions and other procurement opportunities at the CTA," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. ?Our thanks to the Cermak (Douglas) Blue Line Advisory Panel for working with us to bring the meetings to fruition for the benefit of the communities served by the Cermak branch of the Blue Line."

?Our goal is to make sure that local businesses are aware of the opportunities Blue Line rehabilitation is creating," CTA President Frank Kruesi added. ?Theproject is providing residents who commute improved rail service and has the potential to stimulate economic development as well."

Sometime this fall, CTA will formally request proposals from vendors to operate concessions in newly constructed Cermak (Douglas) Blue Line stations including 54th/Cermak (Cicero), Hoyne/Damen, California, Kedzie, Central Park and Pulaski.

Typical concession uses include but are not limited to newspapers and magazines, express mail services, shoe repair, florists, and sundries and notions.

For more information about the upcoming business meetings or to RSVP, contact Economic Development Committee member Alejandra L. Iba?ez at 312-243-5440, or Gina Downing at CTA, 312-664-7200, ext. 3025.

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