Business Diversity

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

Our region is filled with diverse communities and we strive to work with local business partners that are representative of the diversity of Reno-Tahoe. We promote a strong sense of belonging by creating strategic opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses that result in an even better northern Nevada.

Federal DBE Program


Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) operates the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program for their USDOT-funded contracts. The purpose of the Federal DBE Program is to increase opportunities for minority- and women-owned small businesses to participate in federally-funded transportation-related contracts and to address any potential discrimination against DBEs in the awards of those contracts.

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) regulation, 49 CFR Part 26, went into effect on March 4, 1999 and Part 23 went into effect on April 22, 2005. The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority is required to develop and implement a DBE program in compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations Chapter 49 Parts 23 and 26.

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Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) Program


The RTAA is committed to ensuring nondiscrimination in the award and administration of concession opportunities at RNO. The RTAA has established an Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program in accordance with regulations of the DOT, 49 CFR Part 23. The RTAA is a primary airport and has received federal funds authorized for airport development after January 1988 (authorized under Title 49 of the United States Code). The RTAA has signed airport grant assurances that it will comply with 49 CFR Part 23. For more information about the RTAA’s ACDBE Program, please see the documents linked at the bottom of this page.

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Business Diversity

Emerging Small Business Certification Program


The Emerging Small Business (ESB) certification program was created in 2014 to encourage the development and growth of small businesses in Nevada. The program seeks to assist small businesses in obtaining work with the state and local government agencies through identifying small businesses that want to contract with governments.

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Latest News and Upcoming Meetings

DBE Program Public Notices


The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority held a public stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, with regard to its proposed Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) FY 2023-2025 Goals.

View All Upcoming Public Meetings

DBE Program Objectives

It is the policy of the RTAA to ensure that DBEs, as defined in Part 26, have an equal
opportunity to receive and participate in DOT-assisted contracts. It is also the policy of
the RTAA to engage in the following actions on a continuing basis:

  • Create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for USDOT-assisted contracts;
  • Ensure that implementations of the Federal DBE Program are narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law;
  • Ensure only firms that fully meet eligibility standards are permitted to participate as DBEs;
  • Help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs in USDOT-assisted contracts;
  • Assist in the development of minority- and women-owned businesses so that they can compete successfully in the marketplace outside the DBE program; and
  • Provide appropriate flexibility to recipients of federal financial assistance in establishing and providing opportunities for DBEs.

Federal DBE Program Regulations

Please use the following links to access federal regulations guiding the implementation of the Federal DBE Program.

49 CFR Part 26. 49 CFR Part 26 outlines rules that guide the implementation of the Federal DBE Program for recipients of USDOT funds, including RTAA.

49 CFR Part 26 – Official Q & A. USDOT offers a Q&A document to provide additional guidance to agencies receiving USDOT funds and implementing the Federal DBE Program.
Click to find more information in the DBE Certification Criteria and 49 CFR Part 26.

Tips for Goal-setting. USDOT’s Tips for Goal-setting provides fund recipients with additional written guidance on how to set their overall aspirational DBE goals and on how they should project the portions of their DBE goals that could be met through race- and gender-neutral measures. Access Tips for Goal Setting.

Final Rule. USDOT released a Final Rule effective February 2011 that affects how fund recipients should implement different aspects of the Federal DBE Program, including calculating availability and determining which firms should be considered eligible for DBE certification. Access the Final Rule.

How to Become DBE Certified

Your business might be eligible for DBE certification if it is owned and operated by a member of a group that USDOT considers to be disadvantaged. For full ownership, revenue, and financial requirements for DBE certification, click here.

If you think that your business meets the criteria for DBE certification, you should contact the Nevada Department of Transportation Office of Civil Rights or McCarran International Airport. Both entities are certified authorities for DBE certification and accept, review, and approve or deny all DBE certification applications on behalf of the Nevada Unified Certification Program (NUCP). To access the certification site and the DBE certification application, click here.

Please contact RTAA’s DBE liaison with any questions:
Gary Probert, P.E.
Chief Planning & Infrastructure Officer
Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority
2001 E. Plumb Lane, Reno, NV 89502
(775) 328-6459

DBE Program Supporting Documents

How to Become ACDBE Certified

Your business might be eligible for ACDBE certification if it is owned and operated by a member of a group that USDOT considers to be disadvantaged. For full ownership, revenue, and financial requirements for ACDBE certification, click here. If you think that your business meets the criteria for ACDBE certification, please visit the Nevada Unified Certification Program (NUCP) website to learn more about the certification process.

ACDBE Program Supporting Documents

ESB Program Qualifications

Submit a completed application to the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development;

  • Be a Local Business;
  • Be in existence, operational and operating for a profit;
  • Maintain its principal place of business in Nevada;
  • Be in compliance with all applicable licensing and registration requirements;
  • Not be a subsidiary or parent company belonging to a group of firms that are owned or controlled by the same persons if, in aggregate, the group of firms does not qualify pursuant to program requirements;
  • Be qualified as either a Tier 1 Local Emerging Small Business or a Tier 2 Local Emerging Small Business.

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Status of Uniform Certification Program (UCP)

In June 2001, the Nevada UCP submitted its program to the Department of Transportation. Key points of the UCP include the following:

The UCP will meet monthly to review/approve/disapprove DBE applications. This means that it is unlikely that last minute certifications will occur during the bidding process.

  1. The Nevada Dept. of Transportation will officially maintain the DBE Directory on its website at
  2. DBE applications will be assigned to a “Processing Agency,” based on the agency which initially receives the DBE application. There are three Processing Agencies in the state of Nevada: Nevada Department of Transportation, the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (Reno), and the Clark County Dept of Aviation (Las Vegas). The Processing Agency will be responsible for maintaining the DBE file, No-Change Affidavits, and responding to any informational requests about the DBE firm.
  3. The Nevada UCP began October 1, 2001.