Per the federal regulations contained in 49 CFR Part 26, Code of Federal Regulations, independent, for-profit firms which are 51% owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s) that control management and daily business operations are eligible to be certified as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs).
The following groups are potentially eligible for DBE status:
1. Socially Disadvantaged Individuals:
- Black Americans
- Hispanic Americans
- Native Americans
- Asian-Pacific Americans
- Subcontinent Asian Americans
2. Economically Disadvantaged Individuals:
- Personal Net Worth of majority owner(s) must not exceed $1.32M
- A firm must also be a small business concern as defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) regulations in 13 CFR part 121. In addition, 49 CFR part 26 provides a cap of $23.98 million average gross receipts over a three year period for DBE
Only U.S. citizens (or lawfully admitted permanent residents) are eligible. Certifiers make the determinations based upon personal interviews, reviews of licenses, stock ownership, equipment, bonding capacity, work completed, resumes of principal owners, financial capacity and most cases on-site visits.
The application process
Pursuant to the requirements of the federal regulations, 49 CFR part 26, all recipients of federal aid must implement a "one-stop" certification process for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. As a result of this requirement, the following five entities have established the Illinois Unified Certification Process (UCP): Illinois Department of Transportation, City of Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace.
The IL UCP is based on the concept of reciprocity among the agencies. "One stop shopping" will be provided to applicants for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification, such that an applicant needs only to apply once for DBE certification that will be honored by all participating agencies in the state of Illinois.
To apply, please send the completed (printed) application and Personal Net Worth Statement along with all the supporting documentation to:
Pace Suburban Bus
550 W. Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
If you need assistance or have questions regarding completion of the application, please contact the DBE Department at the link below.