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Equal Opportunity Office

BDI Program Overview


The Business Development Initiative (BDI) was designed to support the Department's efforts to boost competition, lower prices, and increase support to meet its contracting needs. Also, the BDI provides more opportunities and support for small businesses to move from subcontracting and sub consulting to prime contracting and consulting roles.


The initial phase was implemented in fiscal years 2006-07 and 2007-08, with the first six months using District Two as the pilot, followed by the remaining districts in January 2007.  During that time, different strategies were implemented to determine an increase the competition without adversely affecting the end product.  Some of the strategies used that would provide an opportunity for businesses who would not typically bid on DOT contracts are:


  • Reserving construction and maintenance contracts for small businesses.
  • Waiving performance bond requirements and modifying bid bond requirements for contracts under $250,000.
  • Using the modified qualification process instead of our standard prequalification process for construction and maintenance projects.


March 2009, the Department received approval from Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to use the BDI on federally funded projects, being the first of its kind, nationally, to be considered. In 2013, the Department increased the BDI goals to 10% of all work types for contracts reserved for small business competition.


April 2016, Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 7027 to include  the establishment of a Business Development Program to assist small businesses in obtaining contracts with the department. The bill went into effect July 1, 2016 and is now a FDOT way of Business (see FS 337.027).


Professional services, construction projects, and design-build projects must comply with the following restrictions:

Professional Services contracts acquired under FS 287.055:
Federally funded BDI reserve project amount threshold is $1,500,000 per contract.
State funded BDI reserve project amount threshold is also $1,500,000 per contract.
Preference points will not be employed as a contracting strategy for BDI contracts.


Construction and Maintenance contracts acquired under FS 337.025:
Federally funded BDI reserve projects must be under $1,500,000
State funded BDI reserve projects must be under $1,500,000
NOTE: Low Risk Design-build projects can be reserved for the BDI.


For a list of construction, maintenance and other contractual services firms, visit  the Small Business by Activity or Specialty Area page

For a list of professional services firms, visit  the Prequalified DBE, Small Business, and other Consultants page

For a more detailed look at the BDI, please review the Business Development Initiative Plan or contact us fdot.bdi@dot.state.fl.us