What is a DBE?
Fort Bend County has established a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program [PDF] in accordance with regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 49 CFR Part 26.
To be considered a DBE, a small business must be:
- At least 51% owned and controlled by minorities, women or other individuals who face economic obstacles in the marketplace.
- The owner(s) personal net worth cannot exceed $1.32 million, minus the equity in their business and primary residence and,
- Meet the criteria of a small business per the Small Business Administration's guidelines for a small business and the company's gross receipts cannot exceed $22.41 million dollars, averaged over a three year period.
The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program:
- Ensures equal opportunity in transportation contracting markets.
- Addresses the effects of discrimination in transportation contracting.
- Promotes increased participation in federally funded contracts by small, socially and economically disadvantaged businesses, including minority and women-owned enterprises.
It is Fort Bend County's policy to:
- Ensure non-discrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts.
- Create a level playing field on which a DBE can compete fairly for DOT-assisted contracts.
- Ensure that the DBE program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law.
- Ensure that only firms that meet 49 CFR part 26 eligibility standards can participate as a DBE.
- Help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs in DOT-assisted and locally funded contracts.
- Assist the development of firms that can compete successfully in the marketplace outside the DBE program.