The federal DBE Program is an integral part of the procurement process for federally funded projects. It is an outreach program to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) which is a prerequisite for receiving federal funds, particularly from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)
The DBE Program:
- Certifies Disadvantaged Business Enterprises
- Administers the race-neutral DBE program for projects funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- Assists DBEs during the bidding process.
- Monitors DBE participation in federally funded projects.
- Holds at least one seminar per year for DBEs and/or prime contractors.
- Provides general outreach to the community through participation in local associations, organizations, including ethnic chambers of commerce, and groups interested in small business development.
DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS ENTERPRISE (DBE)
AIRPORT CONCESSION DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS ENTERPRISE (ACDBE)
The City of Fresno is a recipient of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds and as a condition of receiving these funds, the City has implemented the US Department of Transportation (DOT) DBE and ACDBE Programs based on 49 CFR, Part 23 and 26 requirements. It is the policy of the City of Fresno to strongly encourage DBE’s, ACDBE’s and SBE’s to participate in the City of Fresno’s airport concession and DOT assisted contracting opportunities.
Main Eligibility Requirements for DBE Certification
What are the main eligibility requirements for DBE certification?
Ownership – Your business must be 51% owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s).
“Disadvantaged” – 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.
Business Size Determination – A firm (including its affiliates) must be a small business as defined by SBA standards. It must not have annual gross receipts over $22,410,000 in the previous three fiscal years ($52,470,000 for airport concessionaires in general with some exceptions). Under MAP-21, this threshold will be adjusted annually for inflation by the Secretary.
Personal Net Worth – Only disadvantaged persons having a personal net worth of less than $1.32 million can be considered as a potential qualified DBE. Items excluded from a person’s net worth calculation include an individual’s ownership interest in the applicant firm, and his or her equity in their primary residence.
Independence – Only an independent business may be certified as a DBE. An independent business is one the viability of which does not depend on its relationship with another firm or firms.
Control – A disadvantaged owner seeking certification must possess the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of the firm. The owner must also have an overall understanding of, and managerial and technical competence and experience directly related to, the type of business in which the firm is engaged.
Burden of Proof Allocation – Applicants carry the initial burden of proof regarding their eligibility and must demonstrate that they meet all requirements concerning group membership or individual disadvantage, business size, ownership, and control.
The City of Fresno has established a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program in accordance with the regulations of the U.S Department of Transportation (DOT), 49 CFR Part 26 and 49 CFR Part 23. The City of Fresno in the past has received federal financial assistance from the Department of Transportation and as a condition of receiving this future/ongoing assistance, the City of Fresno has signed an assurance that it will comply with 49 CFR Part 26 (part 26) and 49 CFR Part 23 (part 23).
It is the policy and commitment of the City of Fresno to ensure that DBEs as defined in part 26 and part 23, have an equal opportunity to receive and participate in DOT-assisted contracts. It is also our policy:
- To ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts;
- To create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for contracts and subcontracts relating to construction, professional services, supplies, equipment, materials, and other services for DOT-assisted contracts;
- To ensure that the DBE Program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law;
- To ensure that only firms that meet 49 CFR Part 26 and 49 CFR Part 23 eligibility standards are permitted to participate as DBEs;
- To help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs in DOT-assisted contracts;
- To assist the development of firms that can compete successfully in the marketplace outside the DBE Program; and
- To outreach to local firms and encourage certification and participation in the DBE Program.
The Director of Public Works for the City of Fresno has the general responsibility for implementing council policy.
The Director of Public Works, 2600 Fresno Street, Room 4016, Fresno, CA 93721, (559) 621-8811 has been designated the DBE Liaison Officer. The DBE Liaison Officer has direct, independent access to the City Manager concerning DBE Program matters. The City shall ensure that the DBE Liaison Officer is at all times provided with staff adequate and sufficient to administer the DBE Program in compliance with 49 CFR Part 26 and 49 CFR Part 23, including a DBE Program Coordinator. The DBE Liaison Officer is responsible for implementing and administering all aspects of the DBE Program. Implementation of the DBE Program is accorded the same priority as compliance with all other legal obligations incurred by the City in its financial assistance agreements with the DOT.
The DBE operating expenditures participation shall be delegated and administered directly by the departments which, at minimum, contribute to the overall goals of the City as a whole.
This policy statement will be circulated throughout the City of Fresno departments and the community in general. Copies of this policy will be sent to DBE and to non-DBE business communities that perform work for us on DOT-assisted contracts.
DBE Certification Application
To renew or apply for DBE and or ACDBE certification(s), you should follow the below steps:
- Log in to https://fresno.dbesystem.com/
- Click the Renew/Apply for Certification link in the “Key Actions” box.
- Select the options that are appropriate for your company.
- Answer the eligibility questions.
- Preview the document list and click the Continue button to the application.
- Click on Process to complete each section.
A green arrow will indicate that the section is complete. All documents that are required will be listed on the document list of the online application.
How to Find a Certified DBE firm
You should visit the State of California DBE Serch website. It will provide a searchable listing of all certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) firms eligible to perform work under the federal DBE Program.
Change Request for Certified Firms
Currently, certified firms looking to change or expand commodity code, ownership, business address, etc. must visit the City of Fresno DBE portal to access their online account. In addition, currently certified firms looking to make simple changes like telephone numbers, email addresses, fax numbers, web addresses, etc. must visit the City of Fresno DBE portal to access their online account.