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Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE)
(Last Updated 04/18/2014 11:19 AM)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the DBE Program?

A:  The Agency promotes a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, as an affirmative means to fulfill the philosophy that all business, regardless of ownership, be allowed equal freedom and opportunity to compete for all contracts. To participate on federally-aided contracts under the requirements of the W/DBE Program, firms must be certified by the VTrans. All women and minority business owners providing transportation construction or related services are encouraged to apply for certification. DBE Regulations.

Q: How do I get my firm certified?

A:  Click here for an application. Complete the application, add the attachments, and mail to us.  We'll visit your business to determine your eligibility.  If you need help with the application contact
Melanie Lopez, Tel: (802) 828-5858 Fax:(802) 828-1047


Q: How will this help my firm?

A:  Your firm will be listed in the online VTrans DBE Directory that is constantly updated.  The Directory is included in all VTrans bid proposals and is an excellent marketing tool for businesses.  Federal agencies, such as SBA, recognize our certification process. In
addition, we provide technical and management assistance to certified businesses.

Q: What is a socially or economically disadvantaged individual?

A:  A socially or economically disadvantaged individual is a citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States who is of the following groups, members of which are reputably presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged:

  1. Black Americans, includes person having origins in any part of the Black racial groups of Africa;

  2. Hispanic Americans, includes persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central or South American, or other Spanish or Portuguese culture or origin, regardless of race;

  3. Native Americans, includes American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, or Native Hawaiians;

  4. Asian-Pacific Americans, includes persons whose origins are from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (Kampuchea), Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Samoa, Guam, The U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific Island (Republic of Palau), the commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Macao, Fiji,

  5.  Tonga, Kiribati, Juvalu, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, or Hong Kong;

  6. Subcontinent Asian Americans, includes persons whose origins are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives Islands, Nepal or Sri Lanka;

  7. Women;

  8. Any additional groups whose members are designated as socially and economically disadvantaged by the SBA, at such time as the SBA designation becomes effective.

Q: My firm is DBE certified by another state department of transportation, do I have to go through the DBE certification process again?

A: A DBE certification is only valid in the state in which the certification was issued.  Once you have obtained certification in your home sate, you should contact the DBE Liaison Officer from the state in which you want to obtain certification (the full contact list is available at:
 http://www.osdbu.dot.gov/DBEProgram/StateDBELiaisonCertificationOfficers.cfm 

They will inform you of the required documents. 

For certification in Vermont, we require the following information:

  1. A copy of your home state DBE application;

  2. A copy of your most current home state DBE certification letter; and

  3. Copies of your business tax returns for the last three years, documenting gross receipts. This information should be sent to Melanie Lopez, Civil Rights & Labor Compliance, Vermont Agency of Transportation, 1 National Life Drive
    Montpelier VT  05633-5001

  4. A signed notarized Personal Net Worth Statement current within the previous 90 days.
     

Reciprocal certification is contingent upon review and approval by VTrans.  Please be aware that reciprocal certification is not guaranteed, rather we will review all materials submitted and may ask additional questions of your business.

Q:
Why does VTrans require a Personal Net Worth Statement?

A: The US Department of Transportation requires proof that participating DBE owners have a net worth not to exceed $1,320,000.  When an individual's net worth exceeds the $1,320,000 threshold, the individual is no longer eligible to participate in the DBE Program.  Net worth excludes the value of the business and the primary residence of the owner.  If your concerned about confidentiality, we can review your Personal Net Worth Statement, certify your eligibility, and return it to you.

Q: How does VTrans establish goals for DBE participation?

A: Click here to view Goaling Methodology for all Federally Funded VTrans Programs.

Q: Once certified, can a firm be assured of getting contracts and subcontracts?

A: No. Certification does not guarantee work to a DBE; however, it does enhance a DBE's exposure to prime contractors, government agencies, and the business community.  To be successful, a firm must diligently seek out contracts and implement a strategic marketing plan.

Q: Where can I find information on upcoming contracting opportunities?

A: Check out the following websites:

Vermont Business Assistance Network (VBAN)
www.thinkvermont.com

Vermont Government Bid Opportunities
http://www.vermontbidsystem.com/

Vermont Purchasing & Contract Administration Division
www.bgs.state.vt.us/pca

US Small Business Administration Government Contracting 
www.sba.gov

Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/dec.htm

Q: What is Prompt Pay?

A: Vermont's Prompt Pay Statute requires payment from prime contractors to subcontractors be made within 7 days of the prime contractor receiving payment.  Click here for more information on Prompt Pay Compliance.