The City, through its Office of Supplier Diversity and the Wave Transit Authority administer the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, or DBE, certification program.
The City and the Wave Transit authority strive to ensure that 15% or more of total contract spending goes to businesses that are DBE-certified. Being a DBE-certified business can also open up opportunities to receive mentorship and support.
Small businesses whose owners are socioeconomically disadvantaged are eligible for DBE certification.
To become a DBE, you must prove ownership, meet size standards, show financial stability, and be a member of a socio-economically disadvantaged group.
The application can seem long and complex, and it examines your business and personal finances. You will need to answer a series of questions, submit forms, and host a site inspection.
It’s a thorough process but don’t be discouraged! For many businesses the DBE certification is a crucial part of their growth, opening doors to new opportunities.
Getting all the necessary documents together is usually what takes the most time in the certification process. If you have everything your business needs right at hand, you can expect the City to be able to move forward with your application quickly.
Once you have submitted your application package, the City will check that it is complete. The City will notify you within 30 days if there are any issues with your submission. After that, you can expect a final notice of Certification within 60 days.
The Office of Supplier Diversity and Wave Transit Officials who oversee the DBE certification program will be your primary contacts throughout the process. They can help answer any questions you have about the certification process.