Small / Disadvantaged Business Program
METRO’s policy is to promote equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in all of its procurement matters in accordance with state and federal laws. The Small/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (SB/DBE) Program was created to provide additional opportunities for Small Business and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises to participate in contracting and procurement opportunities within METRO. METRO’s SB/DBE Program operates in a race and gender neutral manner and is designed to include all segments of the region’s business community and is open to participation without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, age or disability. METRO’s SB/DBE Program applies to certain eligible contracts (federally and locally funded) and is a goal-oriented program, requiring contractors who receive contracts from METRO to use Good-Faith Efforts to utilize certified SB/DBE firms.
The Office of Small Business is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the SB/DBE Program through Small Business certifications, technical assistance, professional trainings and contract compliance monitoring. METRO has an annual goal of 35% Small Business participation in all areas of procurement. All small business owners that are eligible for certification are encouraged to bid on METRO procurement opportunities.
Small Business Certification
METRO’s SB/DBE program operates in a race and gender neutral manner and is designed to include all segments of the region’s business community and is open to participation without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, age or disability.
How to become METRO Small Business (SB) Certified or Recertified
Criteria for certification:
- Must be in business for at least 6 months
- Company industry must not exceed SBA size standards
- Owner(s) personal net worth statement
- One year of personal tax returns for each owner
- Personal net worth of each owner may not exceed $1,320,000 (excluding the owner’s primary residence and the value of the businesses).
- Three (3) years of the firms tax returns
- Complete the METRO on-line certification application
METRO accepts the following certifications in addition to the METRO Small Business certification:
Unfortunately we are not able to accept the following certifications due to the differences in certification criteria.
- **HUB – Texas Historically Under utilized Business
- **MBE Only Certification – Minority Business Enterprise
- **WBE Only Certification – Women Business Enterprise
- **City of Houston SB Only Certification
**Please contact the City of Houston Affirmative Action Department or the originating certification agency and advise them you wish to certify as a DBE firm. If you do not qualify as a DBE firm, but qualify as a METRO SB firm, please contact Shurronda Murray at 713-739-4845 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Benefits of METRO SB Certification
- Small Business Directory - Your company will be listed in METRO's directory as a small business program participant and in the City of Houston and Texas Unified Certification Program directory as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participant.
- Prompt payment of invoices - A certified business can invoice METRO every 15 calendar days and be paid every 15 calendar days instead of 30 calendar days.
- Mobilization costs paid - A certified business can invoice METRO for mobilization costs and be paid within 15 calendar days.
- Technical Assistance Services - A certified business can register for college-level and specific industry technical courses, seminars, workshops and networking opportunities offered. METRO may pay a portion of the cost of the courses.
How to become DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) Certified
Only the City of Houston Affirmative Action Department or the Small Business Administration provides the DBE certification in Houston, Texas. The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program requires that any individual or group claiming ownership of a disadvantaged business enterprise must own at least 51% of the organization to be classified as eligible to participate. Applications for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program certification can be downloaded from the City of Houston website at www.houstontx.gov or picked up at the Affirmative Action & Contract Compliance Division at 611 Walker, Houston, Texas. If a company is currently certified as a DBE and is not part of the METRO SB Program, it can register in the METRO SB Program by providing a copy of the current DBE certificate.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Certification