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Equal Opportunity Office


FDOT Business Development Initiative FAQs


Q:   Why did the Department create the Business Development Initiative?

A:   The Business Development Initiative (BDI) is designed to support the Department's efforts to increase competition, lower prices, and increase support to meet its contracting needs over the next 10 years.  The Initiative is designed to provide more opportunities and support for small businesses to move from sub contracting and sub consulting to prime contracting and consulting roles.


Q:   What is the Department's definition of a Small Business?

A:   The Florida Department of Transportation will use its own definition for a small business which has different size standards for the type of work performed. The Department will limit the size standard to $15.0 million for construction and maintenance firms and $6.5 million for professional services firms. A business determines their size by averaging their annual gross receipts over the last three years. If their average gross receipts are under the size standard, the business would be considered a small business.


Q:        What is the eligibility criteria?

A:         To participate in the BDI, small businesses must meet the eligibility criteria listed below: 

1.  Meet the small business definition as defined by the Department


2.The contractor/consultant will submit a notarized affidavit on a form provided by the Department attesting to meeting the definition of a small business.


3. Provide a listing of contracts on a form provided by the Department on which the firm has performed either as a prime or subcontractor or subconsultant with the firm's bid for FDOT contract. This is part of the modified prequalification requirement for small contractors, not consultants.


Q:        How can I become certified?

A:        Once the firm completes the Affidavit and Profile sheet and submit to the Department, the firm will be added to a database. Each Affidavit and Profile sheet is a self-certifying document, once notarized. Once added to the database, the updates will be made annually. 


Q:        What are the benefits of this Initiative?

A:         Contracts are reserved for competition among other small businesses with similar capacity.  For construction and maintenance firms, the bid bond will be reduced and the performance bonds may be waived. The Department also has a database for professional service firms and construction/maintenance firms. This database is used for prime firms to locate small businesses to work on FDOT contracts.


Q:        What is the difference between the BDI and the DBE Program?

A:         In a race neutral program, no contracts are reserved for DBEs.  The BDI program does not scrutinize the firm owner's social and economic status and the Initiative does reserve contracts.


Q:        What types of projects will be reserved?

A:         The BDI  will reserve professional services, maintenance and construction contracts.  


Q:        Where will the work be performed?

A:         The Department used District 2 as the primary pilot district.  During the second year of the pilot program, all Districts were required to participate in the BDI.  For a Department district map please click here


Q:        What is the process for bidding on a reserved contract?

A:         The Equal Opportunity Office website will have a link that lists reserved contracts.  A Bid Solicitation Notice (BSN) will appear on the website and will include instructions for ordering plans and submitting bids.  An advertisement will be on the website for professional service jobs. 


Q:        How will I know when a reserved contract is being let?

A:        The Department will advertise reserved contracts in local newspapers and trade publications.  The most recent reserved contracts can also be found on the Department's Contracts Administration or Procurement websites or visit the BDI reserved projects page. 


Q:        Will my company be required to get bonded?

A:         The Department may waive the bonding requirement if the Department determines that the project is of a "low risk" nature and noncompliance will not endanger public health, safety, or property.  The Proposal Guarantee maybe reduced and must accompany all bids. 


Q:        Does my company need to be prequalified?

A:        Bidders on reserved construction contracts will not be required to be prequalified.  Professional service contracts that are reserved will require prequalification. 


Q:        Will all other state and federal rules and regulations apply?

A:        General Liability, Workers Compensation, Protective Public Liability, and Property Damage Liability insurance are all required.  All other state and federal rules and regulations apply. 


Q:        What is the process for providing the Department with input about the Initiative?

A:        The Department conducted a series of Focus Group sessions in each District over a six month period beginning in January 2007.  The purpose of the Focus Group sessions was to gather information to identify strategies that the Department could implement that would assist businesses in moving from a subcontractor/sub-consultant to a prime contractor/consultant and identify barriers that need to be addressed. 


Q:        How can I obtain more information about the Business Development Initiative?

A:        For more information about the Business Development Initiative please visit the Department's Equal Opportunity Office website: http://www.fdot.gov/equalopportunity/ or send your e-mail inquiries to: fdot.bdi@dot.state.fl.us