The Idaho Transportation Department partners with the Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to provide supportive services to Idaho-based DBEs. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requires state transportation departments to create Business Development Programs (BDPs) for their DBEs which will provide firm-specific training and counseling in management, finance and marketing, with measurable goals and outputs.
The objective is building strong DBEs who can successfully compete for federal-aid highway design/construction contracts and agreements.
The DBE Business Development Program offered through the Idaho SBDC has two components: a Developmental Stage and a Transitional Stage.
To participate, DBEs must meet certain program criteria, such as being a small emerging business based in Idaho; being primarily engaged in highway design/construction activities; and being “ready, willing and able” to bid on ITD highway design, construction and maintenance solicitations.
This will not be limited to DBE firms in the Treasure Valley area; SBDC offices in six locations throughout Idaho — Post Falls, Lewiston, Boise, Twin Falls, Pocatello and Idaho Falls — will all be on hand to work one-on-one with DBEs.
The Developmental Stage will focus on identifying DBE strengths and weaknesses through a Business Self-Assessment completed by each firm owner. From this, the DBEs will be assisted by the SBDC in creating customized, comprehensive business plan for themselves which will be reviewed at regularly scheduled check-up meetings with their business counselor.
The advanced Transitional Stage will be for DBEs who are long past the “beginner” stage, and are determined either to become prime contractors or to expand into new areas of expertise in highway design or construction.