Frequently Asked Questions

What is required to do business with the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) as a minority-owned and/or woman-owned supplier?
To be considered a “Minority Business Enterprise” (MBE) and “Women Business Enterprise” (WBE) with CZS, the company must 51% owned, managed and controlled by one or more persons from the following “Minority Groups. “Minority Group” means any of the following racial or ethnic groups:
  1. African-Americans or Blacks (persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa);
  2. Hispanics (persons of Spanish culture with origins in Mexico, South or Central America, or the Caribbean Islands, regardless of race);
  3. Asian-Americans (persons having origins in any of the original peoples of East Asia, Southeast Asia, the India subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands);
  4. Other groups, or individuals, found to be socially and economically disadvantaged and to have suffered actual racial or ethnic discrimination and decreased opportunities to compete in the area markets.
  5. Native American (includes American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts or Native Hawaiians).
  6. A woman-owned business (a company that is at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by a woman or women.)
Is certification required to do business with CZS?
Certification is not required. All suppliers are welcomed. However, to benefit from the advocacy associated with our supplier diversity initiative we encourage minority and woman-owned businesses to become certified with one of the following agencies:
  • Cook County (Illinois)
  • City of Chicago
  • State of Illinois
  • Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (CMSDC)
  • Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC)
  • National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
  • Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
What criteria are used when selecting MWBE suppliers to do business with CZS?
Suppliers are selected based on product quality, value-added service, competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

What products and services does CZS purchase?
As you can imagine, operating a zoo requires a number of exotic purchases. However, we also procure the standard items that enable us to manage our offices and service our guests. The following list contains items that we procure on an annual basis from third party vendors:
Accounting Services
Architecture Services
Animal feed
Audio Visual Equipment & Services
Construction Services
Consulting services
Engineering Services
Food Service Supplies
Fundraising Services
Graphic Design Services
Horticulture Services
IT Services
Insurance Services
Janitorial Services & Supplies
Maintenance Services
Marketing Services
Medical Equipment
Medical Services
Office Furniture & Supplies
Printing Services
Produce & Hay
Public Relations Services
Security Services
Telecommunications Services

How can I learn about potential procurement opportunities?
To learn about potential procurement opportunities please register your company to receive notices of request for proposals or requests for quotes as they become available.