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Disadvanted Business Enterprise Program FAQ'S

What is the DBE Program?

The VTrans Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program encourages and supports participation of businesses owned and controlled by women and people of color in a wide variety of government contracts. Certified businesses are included in our Directory which is referenced in all VTrans bid processes as well as those of other state agencies. We offer the only federally-mandated certification program in the State of Vermont. All women and minority business owners are encouraged to apply for certification. 

How do I get my firm certified?

We hope you will join our program and to encourage your participation, we provide assistance with your application. Please reach out to our Supportive Services Consultant, Diane Meyerhoff, 802.865.1794 for assistance.  The submittal consists of:

  1. The USDOT application
  2. The Personal Net Worth (PNW) for each socially and economically disadvantaged owner.
  3. Application attachments listed on page 15 of the application.

We encourage applicants to use our secure online portal for submission. Logon credentials will be sent upon request. Once your application is received and complete, we'll visit your business to determine eligibility. Once certified, you need only submit annual tax documents to remain in the program.

How will this help my firm?

Your firm will be listed in the online VTrans DBE Directory that is continually 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 through the Vermont Business Development Program (VBDP).

What is a socially and economically disadvantaged individual?

A socially and 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.

My firm is DBE certified by another state Department of Transportation, do I have to go through the DBE certification process again?

To join the VTrans DBE Program, you do not need to go through the entire process again. To certify in Vermont, you only need to provide a copy of your current home state DBE certification letter; and a completed copy of the Out of State Certification Request form.

This information can be emailed or mailed to: Sonya Boisvert, VTrans Civil Rights Bureau, 219 North Main Street, Barre VT 05641.

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.

Why do I need to complete a Personal Net Worth Statement?

The US Department of Transportation requires proof that participating DBE owner(s) have a net worth not to exceed $1.32 million. When an individual's net worth exceeds that 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.

How does VTrans establish goals for DBE participation?

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

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

Unfortunately, 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.

Where can I find information on upcoming contracting opportunities?

Suggested websites

What is Prompt Pay?

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.