Disadvantage Business Enterprise and Small Business Enterprise

NCTPA is developing a new Disadvantage Business Enterprise Program to better serve our community.  Check back soon for exciting new updates.

The Napa Valley Tansportation Authority is committed to the participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Napa contracting opportunities in accordance with federal regulations 49 C.F.R. Part 26, Amended May 1, 2006 by the United States Department of Transportation (“DOT”), as amended from time to time (“Regulations”). The DBE Program applies to all federally funded contracts.

The main objectives of the DBE Program are:

  • To ensure that small DBE firms can compete fairly for federally funded transportation-related projects.

  • To ensure that only eligible firms participate as a DBE firm.

  • To assist DBE firms in competing outside of the DBE Program.

In order for small disadvantaged firms, including those owned by minorities and women, to participate as a DBE in federal-aid contracts, they must apply for and receive certification as a DBE. For the state of California, DBE certification is performed by the certifying agencies of the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP).  See below for more information regarding the California Unified Certification Program.

For additional information about the DBE Program, please visit the U.S. D.O.T., Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

Small Business Enterprise

The Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program was developed to outreach to small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) that want to work on NCTPA contracts. The SBE program is an overall umbrella program that reaches out to DBE firms that are certified by the California Unified Certification Program and small businesses that are certified by the California Department of General Services.

The goal of the SBE program is to ensure that small businesses have an equal opportunity to receive and participate in our solicitations and awarded contracts. In addition, NCTPA will help small and disadvantaged businesses remove barriers to participation in NCTPA contracts. The SBE program will advocate for small and disadvantaged businesses by providing training, guidance, and strategies for maximizing opportunities in government contracts with NCTPA and in the local market area.

NCTPA highly encourages qualified small businesses to be DBE-certified. Find out how to get certified as a DBE for more information, including requirements on how to become DBE-certified, and contacts for resources that provide technical assistance at no cost to the small business firm.

General Criteria for Certification as a DBE

  1. The firm must be an existing for-profit "Small Business Concern ", as defined pursuant to Section 3 of the Small Business Act and Small Business Administration (SBA) regulations implementing it (13 CFR Part 121). Further, the average annual gross receipts for the firm (including its affiliates) over the previous three fiscal years shall not exceed the cap of $22.41 million, as adjusted for inflation by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
  2. The firm must be at least 51% owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. In the case of a corporation, such individuals must own at least 51% of each class of voting stock outstanding and 51% of the aggregate of all stock outstanding. In the case of a partnership, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals must own 51% of each class of partnership interest. In the case of a limited liability company, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals must own at least 51% of each class of member interest.
  3. The firm's ownership by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals must be real, substantial and continuing, going beyond pro forma ownership of the firm.
  4. The firm must be an independent business, and one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own it must control its management and daily operations.
  5. The firm must be owned and controlled by individuals, each of whose personal net worth does not exceed $1,320,000, excluding an individual 's ownership interest in the applicant firm and the individual 's equity in his or her personal, primary residence. "Personal Net Worth " means the net value of the assets of an individual remaining after total liabilities are deducted. A "Personal Net Worth Statement " is included in the DBE Certification application.
  6. "Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual" means any individual who is a citizen of the United States (or lawfully admitted permanent resident) and who is:
    1. Any individual found to be socially and economically disadvantaged, on a case-by-case basis, by a certifying agency of the CUCP, pursuant to standards of the U.S. D.O.T. in 49 CFR Part 26, Subpart D-Certification Standards.
    2. Any individual in the following groups, members of which are reputably presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged:
      1. "Black Americans" which includes persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa;
      2. "Hispanic Americans" which includes persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central or South American, or other Spanish or Portuguese culture or origin, regardless of race;
      3. "Native Americans" which includes persons who are American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, or Native Hawaiians;
      4. "Asian-Pacific Americans" which includes persons whose origins are from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (Kampuchea), Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Samoa, Guam, the U. S. Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands (Republic of Palau), the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Macao, Fiji, Tonga, Kirbati, Juvalu, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, or Hong Kong;
      5. "Subcontinent Asian Americans" which includes persons whose origins are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives Islands, Nepal or Sri Lanka;
      6. Women; and
      7. Any additional groups whose members are designated as socially and economically disadvantaged by the SBA, at such time as the SBA designation becomes effective.
If your company satisfies all the above criteria, you may be interested in applying for DBE certification status.

DBE Certification Process

The California United Certification Process (UCP) has established Regional DBE Certification Clusters designed to facilitate statewide DBE certification activities. The UCP eliminates the need for DBE firms to obtain certification from multiple agencies within the state. If your firm meets the General Criteria for DBE Certification, please submit your completed UCP Application packet to one of the certifying agencies located in the region that your primary place of business is located. For more information in applying for DBE certification, login to the Caltrans web site: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/bep/. Click here for a list of California certifying agencies.

California Unified Certification Program

Caltrans DBE Program FAQ's



Calfiornia Unified Certification Program

The California Unified Certification Program (CUCP) provides “one-stop shopping” certification services to small, minority and women businesses seeking to participate in the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) Program. Certification services are offered to businesses seeking to obtain either DBE or airport concessionaire disadvantaged business enterprise (ACDBE) status.

As mandated by USDOT in the DBE Program, Final Rule 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 23 and 26, all public agencies that receive USDOT federal financial assistance must participate in a statewide unified certification program. These public agencies, commonly referred to as “recipients” of USDOT funds, include municipalities, counties, special districts, airports, transit agencies, and the State Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

Contractors who are looking for DBE Subcontractors may search California Unified Certification Program (CUCP) Database online. More information is available on the California Department of Transportation's Office of Business and Economic Opportunity website or:

Department of Transportation
Office of Business & Economic Opportunity - MS #79
1823 14th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
p:(916) 324-1700
f: (916) 324-1949


Calmentor Program

The Calmentor mentor-protégé program is designed to encourage and support small businesses through voluntary partnerships with mid-size and larger firms. The program aims to increase the participation of small Architectural and Engineering (A&E) firms in public transportation projects in the San Francisco Bay Area region. In order to ensure success, Caltrans District 4 have partnered with the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). For additional information, please see http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist4/calmentor/mentor.html.

Other Resources 

The links below offer additional information on DBE Programs, small business resources, upcoming and networking events.  The links are provided as a resource- NCTPA does not make any endorsement or guarantee of services provided.

Napa Chamber of Commerce

American Canyon Chamber of Commerce

St. Helena Chamber of Commerce

Calistoga Chamber of Commerce

Yountville Chamber of Commerce

Napa- Sonoma Small Business Development Center

Small Business Administration-  San Francisco Bay Area District Office

2015 Statewide Small Business Council Member List


If you have any questions or would like additional information regarding the DBE program, please contact:

Renee Kulick, Disadvantage Business Enterprise Liason Officer
625 Burnell St.
Napa, CA 94559
(707) 259-8633