What Is the DBE Program? What does DBE have to do with the Harbor Bridge project?

Harbor BridgeFirst, we’ll address the DBE program. The DBE [Disadvantaged Business Enterprise] program provides certain business owners with a marketing tool to increase participation of minorities and women in State and Local contract opportunities.

Federal regulations require that state and local transportation agencies receiving Department of Transportation funds establish a DBE program and set goals for participation by DBE certified businesses. These agencies are required to set annual DBE goals and review contracts during the year to establish contract-specific DBE prime and sub-contracting goals.

For a business owner to qualify, he/she must meet the requirements listed:

  • 51 percent owned, managed and controlled by an economically and socially disadvantaged individual(s),
  • Must be U.S. citizen or Legally Admitted Resident,
  • Contributions, ownership, and daily management control clearly documented,
  • Presumed Groups: Asian-American; African-American; Native American; Hispanic; Women,
  • The primary economically disadvantaged owner(s) must fill out a personal net worth statement and cannot exceed $1.32 million,
  • Must be a small business as defined by Small Business Administration [SBA] size standards;
  • Firm must be organized as a for-profit business,
  • On-site visit required.

With the upcoming Harbor Bridge project in Corpus Christi, TxDOT will attempt to award much of the work to DBE certified firms. The review process, after a completed application is submitted, can take a few months, so now is the time to apply.

Conveniently, for area businesses, the local certifying agency in Corpus Christi is the Regional Transportation Authority. To access an application, visit their website at: http://ccrta.org/dbe-certification.html

Please also know that the Del Mar College Procurement Technical Assistance Center [PTAC] can assist you in reviewing application requirements. We can be reached at 361-698-1021, or visit our website at http://dmc122011.delmar.edu/sbdc/ptac.html

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