What is DBE?
DBEs are for-profit small business concerns where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least 51% interest and also control management and daily business operation.
African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans, and women are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged. Other individuals can also qualify as socially and economically disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis.
Do I qualify as a DBE?
To participate in the DBE program, a small business owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals must receive DBE certification from the relevant state; generally through the state Uniform Certification Program (UCP).
To be regarded as economically disadvantaged, an individual must have a person net worth that does not exceed $1.32 million. To be seen as a small business, a firm must meet SBA size criteria AND have average annual gross receipts not to exceed $24.98 million. Size limits for the airport concessions DBE program are higher.