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HomeDBE ProgramTitle VITitle VIIContract ComplianceBusiness Development Initiative

About the Initiative
Small Business Definitions
Reserved Projects

How to submit a bid:
Contracts Administration
Procurement (Professional Services)

unlocking prime opportunites graphic


Equal Opportunity Office
FDOT Business
Development Initiative FAQs

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

A:         The Business Development Initiative (Initiative) 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 subcontracting and sub-consulting to prime contracting and consulting roles.

Q:        What is the eligibility criteria?

A:         Eligible firms must meet the small business definition provided above.  Additionally, only firms who have not been awarded a prime construction, maintenance, or consultant contract(s) from the Florida Department of Transportation in the past twelve months are eligible.

Q:        What is the Department’s definition of a small business?

A:         The Florida Department of Transportation will use the US Department of Transportation (USDOT)definition of a small business as defined by 49 CFR 26.65.  The USDOT definition uses the Small Business Administration (SBA) definition which has different size standards for the type of work performed.  The USDOT definition limits the size standard to $20.41 million.  A business determines their size by averaging their annual gross receipts over the last three years.  If their average gross receipts are under the SBA size standard for a particular type of work and under $20.41 million, the business would be considered a small business.

Q:        What are the benefits of this Initiative?

A:         Contracts are reserved for competition among other small businesses with similar capacity.  The bid bond will be reduced and the performance bonds will be waived.

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

A:         In a race neutral program, no contracts are reserved for DBEs.  The Initiative 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 Initiative will reserve maintenance, construction, and consultant contracts.  The Department will identify consultant contracts where an additional five points in the selection process will be given to small businesses or those who use small businesses as sub-consultants. 

Q:        Where will the work be performed?

A:         The Department will use District 2 as the primary pilot district.  During the second year of the pilot program, all Districts will be required to participate in the Initiative.  For a Department district map please log onto -

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, Procurement, and Equal Opportunity Office websites. 

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 non-critical 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 projects 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 will conduct a series of Focus Group sessions in each District over a six month period starting in January 2007.  The purpose of the Focus Group sessions is 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’s website:
or send your e-mail inquiries to:


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For additional information, please email questions or comments to
Florida Department of Transportation · Equal Opportunity Office
605 Suwannee Street
· Mail Station 65 · Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Phone (850) 414-4747 · Fax (850) 414-4879