Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program



Charleston Countyís Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program was created to ensure a level playing field for DBEs to compete fairly for transportation contracts and reduce burdens on small businesses. It also aims to enhance and maximize participation of minorities and women in contracting and procurement; foster greater dialogue and strategic relationships; and promote and participate in activities that promote and support DBE development, capacity building and expansion. The DBE Program aims to help DBE firms grow so that they may compete successfully outside of the Countyís DBE program. It applies to contracts that include Charleston County Transportation Sales Tax funds and/or funds expended in accordance with regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 49 CFR Part 26.


To participate in the DBE program a business must:

  • Be at least 51% owned by a minority or woman or, in the case of a corporation, at least 51% of the stock must be owned by one or more such individuals.
  • Not have a net worth that exceeds $750,000.00.
  • Be determined to be both socially and economically disadvantaged as defined by the U.S. DOT.
  • Be managed and have daily business operations controlled by one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own the business.
  • Submit an application to and be approved by the SC DOTís Unified Certified Program (UCP).


Note: the certification application many be obtained directly at SCDOT - Doing Business with SCDOT - Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Certification or through Charleston Countyís Contracts and Procurement Department.


Advantages of DBE Program enrollment:

  • Portable program for economically and socially disadvantaged businesses that is recognized all over the U.S.
  • Mandatory subcontractor bid opportunities on all Charleston County RoadWise contracts.
  • Included as an approved subcontractor on the SCDOTís list of pre-qualified contractors and consultants.
  • Mandatory subcontractor bid opportunities for all SCDOT-funded construction contracts.
  • Technical assistance as needed.
  • Schedule meetings to introduce subcontractors with prime contractors.
  • Registrants have access to business development resources and other advantages such as free workshops and training programs designed to make the application process convenient and simple.

Steps to become DBE certified:

  • Complete the DBE UCP Application.
    • Without assistance, online: SCDOT Doing Business with SCDOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Certification.
    • With assistance: Charleston Countyís DBE Program Manager will provide one-on-one application assistance. Call (843) 202-6924 for more information or to set up an appointment.
    • Return the completed application and support documents, as listed on the application, to Charleston Countyís Contracts and Procurement Department, Room B250, 2nd floor, Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building (4045 Bridge View Drive; North Charleston, SC 29405).


Charleston County DBE Program contacts:

Carl Moore (843) 202.6924 or cmoore@charlestoncounty.org

Bernard Chisolm (843) 202.6923 bchisolm@charlestoncounty.org