Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise or DBE refers to the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program. This is a Federal program for increasing the participation of women and minority owned businesses in the award of federally assisted contracts. The Council’s Office of Equal Opportunity is responsible for monitoring the SWLRT Contracts with a DBE goal for compliance with the DBE program.

The Council recognizes that economic prosperity is essential to equity in our region. The spirit of this program is to create a level playing field for disadvantaged small businesses to participate in the Councils contracting opportunities. The DBE program provides the groundwork for addressing disparities and is critical to achieving the Thrive MSP 2040  outcomes. The DBE goals for the Southwest LRT project are; 16% for Civil Construction and 12% for Systems Construction.

The DBE goals are based on:
  • The type of services needed on the contract:
  • The availability of registered businesses in the region able to perform the services
  • The availability of MN certified DBE businesses that can perform the services; and
  • The DBE achievement on past contracts that are similar.
The Council takes these goals seriously and over the course of the Southwest LRT project have undertaken numerous efforts to achieve the DBE goals; including: . 
  • Hosted a DBE Kick-Off event showcasing a 3 year projection of future projects and how to do business with the Council
  • Set a 12% DBE goal for the SWLRT Systems Contract
  • Hosted a SWLRT Systems Contract DBE Meet and Greet
  • Hosted a table at the Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Council Procurement Fair
  • Established the SWLRT DBE and Workforce Advisory Committee 
  • Monitored active SWLRT contracts with DBE goals
  • Conducted DBE site visits with DBEs for the SWLRT Civil Contract
  • Reviewed and closed the SWLRT Rail Support Facility Demolition Contract
These efforts will continue for the life of the Southwest LRT project and in 2020 project staff will:
  • Continue to Co-chair the DBE & Workforce Advisory Committee
  • Conduct outreach and engagement of DBEs and potential DBEs
  • Host a table at the 2020 Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Council Procurement Fair
  • Continue monitoring active SWLRT contracts
The Southwest LRT prime contractors’ roles will be to follow through with their commitments toward the DBE goals. They are responsible for putting forth good faith efforts into engaging and including DBEs to achieve the DBE goal.

For more information regarding the DBE program please contact;
Jon Tao
612-373-3913
Jon.tao@metc.state.mn.us