Port Authority's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise & Diverse Business Program (DBE/DB) creates a level playing field, removing barriers, certifying disadvantaged business enterprises, and assisting in the development of businesses like yours.

Port Authority of Allegheny County spends millions of dollars each year on the purchase of parts, supplies and services in support of its daily operations. In addition, regular contracts are available for major construction projects, such as busway and light rail construction, as well as renovation and expansion of existing facilities.

As part of the Finance Division, Port Authority's Office of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise & Diverse Business (DBE/DB) Program is committed to creating opportunities for minority business enterprises (MBEs), women business enterprises (WBEs), and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs).

To benefit from the program, businesses must successfully complete an application for certification. Goals have been established in support of the program and available purchasing opportunities. These goals reflect participation levels that have been exceeded by MBEs, WBEs and DBEs.

What is a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)?

A DBE is a for-profit small business in which socially and economically disadvantaged individuals:

  • Own at least 51% or more of the firm
  • Clearly control the management and daily business operations
  • Are a U.S. Citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Have a firm that meets the Small Business Administration’s size standard and does not exceed $26.29 million in gross annual receipts for DBE
  • Have a personal net worth no greater than $1.32 million (excluding primary residence & ownership interest in the DBE applicant firm)


Members of the following groups are presumed to be socially disadvantaged:

  • Women
  • Black Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Asian-Pacific Americans
  • Subcontinent Asian Americans
  • Other groups deemed Disadvantaged by the Small Business Administration

DBE Certification

NOTICE: As of Monday, December 7, 2020, the Pennsylvania Unified Certification Program (PA UCP) certification process is available at their new website.

To ensure this program benefits only Disadvantaged Business Enterprises that are owned and whose management and daily operations are controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, all firms wishing to participate as DBEs for Port Authority contracts must be certified with the Pennsylvania Unified Certification Program (PA UCP).

Port Authority of Allegheny County, Office of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise & Diverse Business (DBE/DB) is one of the five certifying agencies for the PA UCP that certified firms as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)/Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE).

All five certifying agencies within the PA UCP make all certification decisions in the Commonwealth with respect to participation in the DBE Program. Therefore, firms certified as DBE/ACDBE with the PA UCP are eligible to participate on any Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funded contracts as a DBE/ACDBE.

Benefits to Certification as a DBE:

  • Greater visibility to contractors and consultants looking to utilize DBE firms to meet goals on federally assisted transportation projects.
  • Access to free training and consulting services through the DBE Supportive Services Center.
  • DBE certification is recognized by many state, regional, and local diverse, minority, and women business programs.


Firms seeking to be certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise should visit Port Authority's portal on the PA UCP website. 

Go to PA UCP Portal 

If you have any questions about the certification process, please call 412-566-5257.

Contact Us

Contact DBE


For more information, please view our DBE Policy.