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                                                                         Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is dedicated to serving our community, including those businesses contracting with state agencies and recipients of DOT funds. The Department's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is designed to remedy ongoing discrimination and the continuing effects of past discrimination in federally-assisted highway, transit, airport, and highway safety financial assistance transportation contracting markets nationwide. The primary remedial goal and objective of the DBE program is to level the playing field by providing small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded transportation contracts.


DOT's Operating Administrations distribute substantial funds each year to finance construction projects initiated by state and local governments, public transit and airport agencies. DOT has the important responsibility of ensuring that firms competing for DOT-assisted contracts for these projects are not disadvantaged by unlawful discrimination. The Department’s most important tool for meeting this requirement has been its DBE program, which originally began in 1980 as a minority/women’s business enterprise program established by regulation under the authority of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other nondiscrimination statutes that apply to DOT financial assistance programs.

Benefits Of A DBE Certification Application

To ensure that small disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) can compete fairly for federally funded transportation-related projects.

To ensure that only eligible firms participate as DBEs.

To assist DBE firms in competing outside the DBE Program

In a DBE certification application, DBE stands for disadvantaged business enterprise. A DBE certification allows businesses to become more successful when attempting to get government contracts. That’s because a percentage of government funding must go towards disadvantaged businesses, and it is what makes DBE certification applications so popular. A DBE certification application differs from an SBA 8a certification or a GSA application in that it is specifically designed for someone who is considered disadvantaged in one way or another.

Here are a few benefits of DBE certifications:

They Help You Get Government Contracts

One of the most common reasons businesses fill out a DBE certification application is because it is a requirement that a portion of government construction contracts goes to businesses with DBE certifications. This means that companies and small businesses with DBE certifications make up a small pool that is promised a certain amount of revenue. Add in the fact that government contracts are more stable and consistent than other contracts and having a DBE certification is a great way to expand and grow a small business.

Public Funding For Transportation Can Rise

When there is a renewed importance put on infrastructure from government bodies, money put into construction contracts rises. That’s why it’s important to fill out a DBE certification application as soon as possible, even if there is not currently much being spent on these contracts. That can change, and your business needs to be ready when more money is put into 

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