DBEs are for-profit small business concerns where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations.
African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans, and women are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged. Other individuals can also qualify as socially and economically disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis.
To participate in the DBE program, a small business owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals must receive DBE certification from the relevant state– generally through the state Uniform Certification Program (UCP).
To be regarded as economically disadvantaged, an individual must have a personal net worth that does not exceed $1.32 million. To be seen as a small business, a firm must meet SBA size criteria AND have average annual gross receipts not to exceed $23.98 million. Size limits for the airport concessions DBE program are higher.
As recipients of DOT financial assistance, state and local transportation agencies are responsible to: