What it Means to be Small and Disadvantaged

Our previous blog post talked about our certifications earned for a woman-owned business, but there are other certifications that matter in this industry as well. 

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) is a certification whose "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."

Much like the WOSB, the Federal government sets aside certain contract bid opportunities exclusively for disadvantaged businesses.

One requirement for the DBE is that your business must be 51% owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s). You may be eligible if you are "a member of a group of persons the Department considers as disadvantaged. The Department presumes certain groups are disadvantaged, including women, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian-Pacific Americans, or other minorities found to be disadvantaged by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Persons who are not members of one of the above groups and own and control their business may also be eligible if they establish their "social" and "economic" disadvantage. The Department notes, for example, that people with disabilities have disproportionately low incomes and high rates of unemployment, and that many may be socially and economically disadvantaged. A determination of whether an individual with a disability meets DBE eligibility criteria is made on a case-by-case basis."

We are also SBE certified. Small Business Enterprise (SBE) refers to a business "that meets specific economic criteria and is owned, operated, and controlled by one or more persons." Click here for the simplest explanation of what this certification is.

For more information about the certifications available to small businesses, click on any of the links at the bottom of each page on our website, or any of the links in this post.

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