Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE)

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program helps level the playing field for women, Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian-owned businesses, ensuring that they have the opportunity to compete for federally funded contracts.

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The Metropolitan Council receives funding for projects and procurements from several sources, including federal funding from the United States Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Both the U.S. DOT and the EPA require their fund recipients to have a DBE.

The DBE program is a project for increasing the participation of women- and minority-owned businesses in the award of federally assisted contracts. See current contracting opportunities.

The Met Council has established goals for contracts for fiscal years 2021-2023:

  • 14% overall DBE for transit contracts
  • 11% overall DBE for environmental service contracts

Comment on recommended DBE program contracting goals

The Metropolitan Council invites public comment on the recommended DBE program goal for USDOT-assisted contracts for 2024-2026. The recommended program goal is 13.4%.
 
As a recipient of federal transportation dollars through the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Met Council is required to establish three-year goals for contracting with Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs).
 
The goal-setting process involves an analysis of businesses and vendors who are available, willing, and ready to provide services on relevant construction and other projects. From the availability analysis, the Met Council will set and adjust the base goal using evidence of disparities in contract awards that cannot be explained by economically relevant factors. The final step in setting the goal is estimating the maximum share of the DBE goal that should be attained through race-neutral means.
 
Provide your comments on the draft goal by Sept. 28:
  • Mail:
    Metropolitan Council
    Attn: Director, Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity
    390 Robert St. N.
    St. Paul, MN 55101
  • E-mail: DBE@metc.state.mn.us
  • Attend a virtual meeting:
    Sept. 14, 2 - 4 p.m.
    Pre-register at DBE@metc.state.mn.us

Applying for DBE certification

The Minnesota Unified Certification Program consists of a group of state and local agencies who work together to certify firms as DBE’s. The current certifying agencies are City of Minneapolis, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Metropolitan Council and Minnesota Department of Transportation. The MNUCP acts as a one-stop-shop for businesses that qualify as a DBE or wish to submit an application for DBE status.

Directory of DBE-certified firms

The DBE directory lists firms certified by the MNUCP as DBE Businesses, updated biweekly. Businesses in this directory can be based in any state, but are certified to work in Minnesota. Find detailed information for each firm by searching the MNUCP DBE Directory.

DBE participation contract goals for federally funded projects

Project contracts will include DBE participation goals if they meet the following three requirements:

  • The project is federally funded
  • There are opportunities for subcontractors
  • The contract value is more than $50,000‚Äč

Staff in the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity sets specific participation goals on each project contract. All bidders/proposers for projects with DBE goals will be required to meet the DBE goal percentage. If the bidder/proposer is not able to meet the goal, they may receive a waiver based on their Good Faith Efforts (PDF).