We recognize the value of working with a diverse group of local business partners. Not only is this a better way to do business, but when we create strategic opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses, the result is a stronger Columbus Region.
As a recipient of U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) funds, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority administers a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program in compliance with Part 26 - Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in Department of Transportation Financial Assistance Programs and Part 23 - Participation Of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise In Airport Concessions. These programs assist with participation in contracting opportunities for businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, including minorities and women.
The DBE Program objectives are to:
- Ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of federally-assisted contracts.
- Create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete for federally-assisted contracts.
- Help remove barriers that affect participation of DBEs in federally-assisted contracts; and
- Assist the development of firms that can compete successfully in the marketplace outside the DBE Program.
- Ensure the DBE program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law.
- Ensure that only firms that fully meet the eligibility standards are permitted to partcipate as DBEs.
- Promote the use of DBEs in all types of federally-assisted contracts and procurement activities.
- Provide appropriate flexibility in establishing and providing opportunities for DBEs.
Small Business Verification
In 2011, the USDOT issued a rule requiring the development of a small business element to the DBE program. The small business element is one method of achieving race-neutral efforts for DBE participation. As a result of this requirement, Columbus Regional Airport Authority instituted the Diversity Business Partner (DBP) Program. By definition, DBEs are also SBEs or Small Business Enterprises. The Authority’s small business element includes outreach activities, verification of certified SBEs, monitoring SBE participation on contracts, and tracking payments made to SBEs.
For firms interested in registering as a small business with the CRAA, please register via our vendor portal at https://columbusairports.diversitycompliance.com/. Please contact the Office of Business Diversity at BusinessDiversity@columbusairports.com with questions.
In order for small disadvantaged firms, including those owned by minorities and women, to participate as a DBE or ACDBE in federally-assisted contracts, they must apply for and receive certification.
Before being certified as a DBE/ACDBE, a company must meet these five requirements of the Ohio UCP:
- The owner must be a member of a socially and economically disadvantaged group. This means owners who are citizens of the United States, or who are lawfully admitted permanent residents, and are: Black, Hispanic, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Islanders, Subcontinent Asians, or women regardless of race.
- The business must be owned, at least 51%, by one or more individuals who are considered members of a socially and economically disadvantaged group.
- The disadvantaged owner(s) must control the company's management and daily operations.
- A disadvantaged owner(s) personal net worth cannot exceed $1,320,000 (excluding ownership interest in the firm and the equity in his/her primary residence).
- The company must meet the Small Business Administration's Size Standard requirements.
- Within the State of Ohio, DBE and ACDBE certification is performed by the Ohio Unified Certification Program (OHUCP). The Columbus Regional Airport Authority is a member of the Ohio UCP. The Ohio Department of Transportation’s Office of Contracts, DBE Section, processes DBE/ACDBE certification applications for the State of Ohio. To download an application, obtain additional information regarding DBE/ACDBE Certification, or for a listing of currently certified DBE/ACDBE firms, please visit ohioucp.org or call 614.466.3778.
The DBE Program ensures all program participant compliance with federal requirements pursuant to 49 CFR Part 26. DBE compliance is to ensure that scheduled work is actually being performed, managed, and controlled by the DBE Company contracted to perform on the contract.
The Authority’s DBE Compliance Program engages in the following activities in its efforts to monitor contracts:
- Conducts desk audits to determine actual DBE participation level for each project
- Conducts on-site readiness and compliance visits
- Reviews prime contractor’s billings and payments to subcontractors and suppliers for payment
- Reviews change orders for their effect on DBE contract values
- Attends project progress meetings
- Review of our DBE Compliance program (PDF).