Did You Know? Small Business Development Contracts Program  

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) offers a program specific to small business contractors where small businesses compete against each other and not against large contractors. This program, separate from the DBE Certification, is called the Small Business Development Contracts Program. To be eligible for this, a small business must become a Certified Small Business Contractor (CSBC) by meeting the requirements through the Iowa DOT’s Civil Rights Bureau. (Note: There is no ethnic or gender limitation for this program.)

To become a CSBC, and to bid on the small business contracts, follow the steps below:

  1. Verify that your business meets the small business requirements defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) using their size standard matrix and NAICS codes. You can find the basic requirements here.
  2. Self-certify that your company meets the requirements of a small business by filling out a Small Business Certification Form 650064 and return it to the to the DOT Civil Rights Bureau. Once qualified, the status is good for one year.
  3. Obtain Vendor/Bidder ID from the Contracts and Specifications Bureau. Submit contact information, Bidder Status Form, Submission of Electronics Bid form and Record of Past Experience to the Contracts and Specifications Bureau via a Contractor’s Qualified Bidder Statement.
  4. Watch for the small business development contracts bid opportunities posted in the Iowa DOT Contracts and Specifications Bureau monthly lettings, found on the Bid Express Lettings page. The applicable contracts typically are grouped together at the end of the letting with the bid order numbers starting at 981, 982, etc.
    • Suppliers can review projects without a subscription in Bid Express. However, to bid a project you must have a subscription to Bid Express. The monthly fee is $45.
    • Note: Suppliers are responsible for monitoring the monthly lettings for projects of interest and potential bidding opportunities. There is no notification of opportunities by the Contracts and Specifications Bureau.
  5. Request eligibility to bid as a prime contractor for the Small Business projects of interest by noon on the day before the intended letting (each bid) via the “Request Bidder Eligibility” function on the Bid Express website.
    • The Record of Past Experience provided via the Contractor’s Qualified Bidder Statement (#3 above) must show the contractor has past work experience and is recognized as a contractor engaged in the class of work provided for in the plans and specifications of each proposal on which the company is requesting eligibility to bid.

For questions about becoming a Certified Small Business Contractor (CSBC), contact Nikita Rainey, Civil Rights Director, in the Iowa DOT Civil Rights Bureau. Email: nikita.rainey@iowadot.us, phone 515-239-1304.   

For questions about getting qualified and requesting eligibility to bid, contact Jason Miller, Prequalification Analyst, in the Iowa DOT Contracts and Specifications Bureau. Email: jason.miller@iowadot.us, phone 515-239-1071.

For more information, contact Mary Zimmerman at Maryz@iastate.edu.