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The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) is a legislatively mandated U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) program that applies to federally-funded/assisted contracts issued by DOT recipients such as State Transportation Agencies. The DBE program was established in order to: (1) ensure nondiscrimination in the award of and administration of DOT-assisted contracts; (2) help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs in DOT-assisted contracts; and (3) assist the development of firms that can compete successfully in the marketplace outside of the DBE program.
In terms of the benefits of DBE certification, they are generally the following (keep in mind that each State's program may be a little different in terms of the resources and programs it offers to certified firms):
- Helps serve as a marketing tool for the business because the firm will be listed in the DBE online directory;
- Once a firm is DBE certified in its home state, it can seek certification in other states;
- Can participate in free or low-cost training on topics such as marketing, government procurement and financing;
- Can participate in DBE supportive services program which offers one-on-one counseling, technical assistance and tuition reimbursement to help firms grow, become self-sufficient and compete in the transportation industry;
- Increased number of opportunities to participate on federally-funded/assisted projects;
- May increase the likelihood of being selected on a project by a Prime Contractor that will be able to count the DBE firm's participation toward the Prime Contractor's own contracting goals.
For more information about the DBE program, including eligibility and certification, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.