Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

DBE Program Overview

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program is a comprehensive program, developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), which establishes guidelines for the participation of firms owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged persons in DOT-assisted contracting.

As a major provider of public transportation whose employees have extensive daily contact with the public, PSTA recognizes its responsibility to the community which it serves and is committed to a policy
of nondiscrimination.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)

A DBE is a business that is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more minority persons. A minority is generally defined as an individual who is African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Native American, a woman or a disabled person. The Federal DBE Program also includes Alaskan Natives, Pacific Islanders, Aleuts, and persons who are not minorities but who are socially and economically disadvantaged in its definition. The socially and economically disadvantaged owners must demonstrate longstanding, chronic and substantial disadvantage since the business is not owned by persons in the cited minority groups.

PSTA’s DBE Program Objectives

DBE Program Goals

For Fiscal Year 2013, PSTA intends to expend at least 8.15% of its total Federally-assisted expenditures with qualified DBE firms. Our goal is to encourage and maximize participation for all PSTA contracts.

DBE Program Eligibility Requirements

Owner(s) must own 51 percent of the firm and be a member(s) of one of the following groups:

Additional groups whose members are designated as socially and economically disadvantaged by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and have a personal net worth not to exceed $750,000 (minus the value of their principal residence and interest in the business) may also qualify.

What does Socially Disadvantaged mean?

Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identities as members of groups and without regard to their individual qualities. Social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control. Evidence of individual social disadvantage must include off of these elements:

What does Economically Disadvantaged mean?

Economically disadvantaged individuals are socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same or similar line of business who are not socially disadvantaged. Each individual claiming economic disadvantage must describe the conditions which are the basis for the claim in a narrative statement, and must submit personal financial information.

DBE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does PSTA Certify?

No. Due to limited staff, certification is available through other resources.

Where do businesses go to become certified?

The entire certification process assures that only bona fide DBEs participate in the program. PSTA is a non-certifying member of the Unified Certification Program (UCP) administered by:

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
Equal Employment Opportunity Office
605 Suwannee Street, MS 65
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0450
Office: (850) 414-4747
Fax: (850) 414-4878
Website: http://www.dot.state.fl.us/equalopportunityoffice/dbecertification1.shtm

Do firms graduate from the DBE Program?

Yes. As of October 1, 2000, if a certified DBE has a three (3) year annual average of gross receipts (or for retail and manufacturing businesses number of employees) that meets or exceeds the revenue (or employee) totals as specified by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the firm would not be eligible to participate in the DBE program. The first year to be included in the average is 1997. This has existed for federally assisted contracts within the DBE program for many years.

What are the advantages of becoming certified as a DBE?

Certification as a DBE provides greater exposure for work opportunities on PSTA projects. The names of all certified DBEs appear in the State of Florida DBE Directory, a reference manual which is widely used by PSTA’s Purchasing Division, State departments, local governments, contractors and the public. Contractors use the DBE Directory as a basic resource for soliciting minority participation on projects. If a firm is not certified, a contractor cannot receive credit toward achievement of the DBE participation goal by using
that firm.

How does PSTA establish the goals for disadvantaged business participation for Federally-funded Projects?

PSTA’s Federal DBE goal is set based upon the dollar value of the project, the availability of DBEs to perform the work which is to be contracted, and the availability of certified DBEs in the location where the work is to be done. Based upon our current goal setting methodology, which is reviewed annually by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), PSTA has established a goal to spend at least 8.15% of its qualifying expenditures with DBE firms. It is our goal to encourage and maximize participation for all PSTA contracts.

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Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

DBE Public Notice DBE Public Notice

DBE Policy Statement DBE Policy Statement

DBE Open House DBE Update

DBE 2009 FTA Concurrence Letter

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For more Information:

Hours of Operation
PSTA's DBE Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Phone: (727) 540-1580
Fax: (727) 540-1833
Email: SLand@psta.net