Business Enterprises Program
Business Enterprises Program creates opportunities for qualified DOR consumers, who are legally blind, to become independent business owners in the food service industry. Business Enterprises Program provides classroom and operational skills training with an emphasis in food service management, quality customer service, menu planning, health and safety, and merchandising.
In California, Business Enterprises Program vendors earn an average monthly income of $3,700. The program supports 90 business owners equating to 550 food service positions at approximately 250 sites statewide. The Business Enterprises Program offers participants the opportunity to achieve a dependable income, and benefits such as health insurance, life insurance, and a sound retirement.
The program was created through federal legislation, the Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936, which was enacted to "provide blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarging the economic opportunities of the blind, and stimulating the blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting."
The federal and state statutes governing this program provide a "priority" for blind vendors to operate food service facilities in federal and state government buildings. County and city buildings are not included in this priority, but many county and city governments cooperate with the Business Enterprises Program by making their food service facilities available to the vendors in the program.
How to Apply
Candidates for the Business Enterprises Program must be legally blind, a United States citizen and a consumer of DOR. He or she must be motivated, have independent living skills, organizational skills, ability to relate well with the public, and the physical and emotional stamina to meet the tough demands of self-employment. For additional information about becoming a vendor please refer to the BEP Training Consumer Guide 2019 (Word) and contact Business Enterprises Program.
Establish a Business Enterprises Program Food Vendor at Your Workplace
From snack bars and vending machines to full food service operations, Business Enterprises Program can provide your workplace with a quality, on-site facility run by trained professionals. Business Enterprise Program facilities are managed by licensed blind vendors and overseen by qualified Business Enterprise Consultants working for DOR. If you would like additional information complete the New Location Survey (Word) or Request for Vending Machines (Word) and forward it to BEPResponse@dor.ca.gov.