Resources for DC Area Small Businesses

 DBE Advance works with public agencies and Prime Contractors to better involve small businesses in large scale, multi-year civil engineering, heavy construction, and transportation infrastructure projects in the Washington DC metropolitan area. On their behalf, we help diverse small, businesses decide which certifications are best for their lines of work and how to better compete for opportunities where those certifications apply.

 Your Small Business needs all the advantages it can get to compete in a world of large regional and multinational corporations. Agency certifications (see below) can help, but collecting them all is not good business strategy. Choose those which best match your lines of business and location.


 Small business certifications represent contract conditions public funders place on project dollars. Many large State Transportation Department projects are funded with federal dollars and others with state funds, and different certifications apply to each. Since project funding comes from many sources, there is a bewildering number of certification types. Get the certifications that best match your line of business and location.

If the primary location of your business is the District of Columbia, look here.

If the primary location of your business is Maryland, look here.

 If the primary location of your business is Virginia, look here.

DC Metropolitan Area Regional Certifications

 The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) has a regional certification for small Woman- and Minority-owned businesses. The MWAA LDBE certification can be of benefit in competing for many types of contracts. To see if your DC-area business is eligible, look here.

WMATA (Metro) has a similar regional certification, the SBLP Program, for any small DC Metro Area business, and it applies to certain contracts under $150,000. Details are here.

Large Private Sector Construction Projects

When private corporations build large-scale projects with private funds, they often voluntarily adopt diversity subcontracting goals based on the certification program of the state or local jurisdiction where the site is being developed. The prime contractors are often the same as on publicly-funded projects, so this can help develop long-term strategic relationships.

Direct Federal Procurement Certifications

When federal agencies use federal dollars to directly meet their needs, only SBA Certifications8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, etc. — apply, and so do federal procurement rules. To help you decide if your business might benefit, consult your Local SBA office, Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), or Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Remember: Get the certifications that best match your line of business and location.

Many government agencies and nonprofits provide help with business administrative issues and financing for free or at little cost. Look here.

DBE Advance LLC
Developing Business Engagement

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