With the nation’s economic recovery advancing, it is more important than ever to fire up America’s small and disadvantaged businesses. And DOT is working to make sure that’s a natural part of how we do business.
Last week, DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program issued a final rule that will help small and disadvantaged businesses gain greater access to federally funded highway, transit, and airport projects.
But this action goes further than just increasing access to opportunities.
Some of the additional benefits include:
- Making it easier to do business in multiple states: To reduce the burdens on firms seeking DBE certification in more than one state, the new rules require states to accept certifications from other states, unless there is good cause not to.
- Increasing the personal net worth cap: This is the first adjustment to the personal net worth (PNW) cap since it was first set in 1989. The adjustment, from $750,000 to $1.3 million, applies to highway, transit, and aviation parts of our DBE program.
- Increasing accountability: State and local transportation agencies must include DBEs in their spending plans. If they fail to meet established goals, they’ll have to evaluate why and create a plan to get them back on track.
- Generating greater small business participation: New tools to foster small business participation have been added, including a menu of options for recipients to use such as unbundling large contracts and establishing race-neutral small business set-asides.
To America's small and disadvantaged business owners, these changes will make a world of difference.