Doing Business

Disadvantaged Business Policy Statement

The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPCGB) has established a Disadvantaged Business (DB) program in accordance with regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 49 CFR Part 26, U.S Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (DOC) Title 15 Chapter 14 Part 1400 Section 1400.4, and the Small Business Administration (SBA), 13 CFR Part 124. As a recipient of Federal financial assistance and as a condition of receiving this assistance, the RPCGB assures that it will comply with the aforementioned regulations when applicable.

It is the policy of the RPCGB to ensure that DBs have an equal opportunity to receive and participate in contracts. It is also our policy:

  1. To ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of contracts
  2. To create a level playing field on which DBs can compete fairly for contracts
  3. To ensure that the DB Program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law
  4. To ensure that only firms that fully meet eligibility standards are permitted to participate as DBs
  5. To help remove barriers to the participation of DBs in contracts
  6. To assist the development of firms that can compete successfully in the market place outside the DB Program

Although the RPCGB does not act as a certifying agency, DBs may register with the RPCGB for contract opportunities beyond those funded by federal agencies by contacting the DB Liaison Officer or downloading the application form.

Denise Turner has been delegated as the DB Liaison Officer. In that capacity, the DB Liaison Officer is responsible for implementing all aspects of the DB program. Implementation of the DB program is accorded the same priority as compliance with all other legal obligations incurred by the RPCGB in its financial assistance agreements. You may contact her at:

Denise Turner, DB Liaison Officer
2 20th Street North, Suite 1200
Birmingham, AL 35203
(205) 264-8471

The RPCGB has disseminated this policy statement to the Board of Directors and all of the components of our organization. We have distributed this statement to DB and non-DB business communities that perform work for us on contracts.

DOT Certification Procedures

Section 26.81 requires that all DOT recipients in the state of Alabama participate in a Unified Certification Program (UCP). The ALUCP will follow all certification procedures and standards of 49 CFR Part 26, Section 26.61. The ALUCP shall provide “one-stop shopping” to all applicants. If you would like more information on the ALUCP program or an application, please visit ALDOT’s website.

DOC MBE Certification Procedures

For the State of Alabama, to be classified as a MBE, you must be certified with the ALDOT DBE program as outlined above.

SBA Certification Procedures

In order for a concern to represent that it is an SDB in order to receive a benefit as a prime contractor on a Federal Government procurement, the rule states that a firm must: (1) Be a current Participant in SBA’s 8(a) BD program; (2) have been certified by SBA as an SDB within three years of the date it seeks to certify as an SDB; (3) have received certification from the procuring agency that it qualifies as an SDB; or (4) have submitted an application for SDB certification to the procuring agency and must not have received a negative determination regarding that application. For subcontracts, the rule permits a firm to represent that it qualifies as an SDB if it believes in good faith that it is owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

SBA Guidelines

Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identification as members of certain groups. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, and Native Americans are presumed to qualify. Other individuals can qualify if they show by a “preponderance of the evidence” that they are disadvantaged. All individuals must have a net worth of less than $750,000, excluding the equity of the business and primary residence. Successful applicants must also meet applicable size standards for small businesses in their industry.

DOT Guidelines

DBEs are for-profit small business concerns where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations.

African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans, and women are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged. Other individuals can also qualify as socially and economically disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis.

To be regarded as economically disadvantaged, an individual must have a personal net worth that does not exceed $750,000. To be seen as a small business, a firm must meet SBA size criteria and have average annual gross receipts not to exceed $22.41 million. Size limits for the airport concessions DBE program are higher.

DOC Guidelines

To become a Certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), your business must meet the following requirements. Both current and historical facts are considered in determining ownership qualifications and participation in the management and operations of the company.

  • Your business is a for-profit enterprise.
  • Your business is physically located in the United States or its trust territories.
  • Your business is at least 51% ethnic minority owned. Ethnic minority owned is defined as any business having owner(s) belonging to the following minority groups: African-American, Hispanic-American, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander American (Asian-Indian included).
  • The minority/ethnic owner(s) of the business are U.S. citizens.
  • The minority/ethnic owner(s) of the business must be active in management and daily business operations.

Title VI: Complaint Procedures for Processing External Complaints of Discrimination or Retaliation and Informal Resolution

Title VI of the Civil Rights act of 1964, as amended Discrimination Complaint Procedure is intended to provide aggrieved individuals a process to bring forth Title VI complaints of discrimination regarding programs, activities and services administered by the RPCGB or its sub recipients and funded through appropriate federal agencies.

Download the entire document here.