Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE) acts as a catalyst to create inclusive economic growth by leveraging the buying power of anchor institutions, such as hospitals and universities, to collectively impact Chicagoland neighborhoods. CASE enables anchors to individually and collectively support the vitality of their neighborhoods and promote sustainable inclusive economic growth, by sourcing and qualifying local, small to medium-sized businesses, with a focus on neighborhood and M/WBEs, to supply the products and services anchors need.

Business Readiness Assessment

Overall assessment of business vitality to service large contracts with anchor institutions

Proprietary Matchmaking Tool

Access to contract opportunities with anchors, prioritized for CASE Ready businesses

Procurement & Networking

Access to procurement and networking events with the CASE anchors and businesses



Technical assistance support through CASE community partners

A two-phase vetting process created by CASE and Chicagoland anchors, measuring business capacity to service large contracts with institutional buyers. A composite score, rated on a 1 to 5 point scale, is generated based on several key performance indicators, including financial performance compared to industry standards, operational, performance, and organizational capacities.

A business that has completed the Business Readiness Assessment with a composite score of 3.0 or higher is a CASE Ready business and qualifies for referral to contract opportunities with anchor institutions via our proprietary matchmaking tool.

CASE will continue to support your business in identifying capacity building programming opportunities with community partners. As a business within the CASE network, you will have opportunities to connect with CASE businesses and anchors at networking events.

A network of business assistance providers, community-based organizations, and others who support with capacity building, technical assistance, and access to capital such as, Chicago Urban League, Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, and Women’s Business Development Center.

There is no cost for businesses to join CASE.

  • Provide two consecutive years of financials
  • At least two full-time employees
  • At least two years in business
  • Business should be in a business to business (B2B) industry
  • Headquartered in Chicagoland
  • Annual revenue between $150K and $25M;

*Catering businesses will be considered without minimum revenue

Financial health is a key component to minimize risk for anchors and businesses in delivering on large contracts. Your business financials are reviewed solely to complete the Business Readiness Assessment to qualify as a CASE Ready business and are not shared with any outside parties or anchor institutions. A confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement is executed prior to submitting financial information.

CASE does not guarantee that your business will be awarded a contract with anchor institutions.

CASE hosts networking events for businesses to connect directly with purchasing managers. Please note, outside of networking events, sharing contact information for purchasing managers is reserved for active contract opportunities, as applicable.