Springfield, MO— As a minority and/or a woman-owned business that sells goods and/or services, and if you have an interest in becoming a government contractor, one socio-economic certification that you may want to consider applying for is the Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE). This is for minority and/or woman-owned companies that offer various products and services to sell either as a subcontractor or to an airport directly as a prime contractor. Many airports have specific ACDBE goals and they actively encourage their prime contractors to work with ACDBEs as subs. For example, most if not all rental car companies at any airport will be large businesses (i.e. Hertz, Enterprise, Budget). However, a company that is certified as an ACDBE could be subcontracted by the rental car company for various services including the Preparation of the vehicles between rental customers; or, Providing janitorial services to clean the rental car offices.
As another example, many of the airport retail shops are large businesses (i.e. Hudson News). If you as a business owner who produces a product that could be accepted for retail sales including items such as clothing, candy, “keepsakes”, or snacks, and you are certified as an ACDBE, there is an improved chance (not great but improved) of selling your product at the airport in the retail shops. Obviously, your product would have to be one that would make business sense for the large retailer to sell as ultimately it is their decision.
As for applying for the certification, the application process in Missouri must be approved through one of the two major international airports: St. Louis (Lambert) or Kansas City (KCI). Both airports offer an electronic system for completing and uploading the required documents. You as the business owner would still have to meet the social and economic criteria for this certification. The criteria can be found at this website: https://www.transportation.gov/civil-rights/disadvantaged-business-enterprise/eligibility
In a “nutshell”, in order to be socially disadvantaged, the guidelines from the US Department of Transportation are as follows: “….including women, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian-Pacific Americans, or other minorities found to be disadvantaged by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).” If you qualify as being socially disadvantaged, the economic disadvantage threshold is a net financial worth of less than $1.32 million. This threshold does not include the value of the business or the equity in your primary residence.
In the preparation work for this article, contact was made with Joy Latimer, Airport Attorney, of the Springfield Branson National Airport (SGF). Ms. Latimer did confirm the goals for SGF as being 0.4% for rental car companies and non-car rental concessions as being 2.7%. These are their goals until September 30, 2024. She does recommend establishing a business relationship with a concessionaire before seeking ACDBE certification. Ms. Latimer does encourage contact with her office to discuss specifics regarding SGF. She can be contacted at JLatimer@flyspringfield.com.
If you are interested in learning more about this overall ACDBE program, I would recommend visiting this website: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/acr/bus_ent_program If after researching this program you as a business owner decide to pursue this certification, the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Center (MO PTAC) (recent name change to Missouri APEX Accelerator) is ready to discuss this certification, the necessary steps to apply for it, and if it makes sense to apply, the assistance with submitting the application. MO PTAC/APEX Accelerator services are at no cost as we are funded by the Department of Defense and the University of Missouri Extension. Feel free to contact me (Allen Waldo) at email@example.com.
Article authored by Allen Waldo
Counselor, Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Center / Missouri APEX Accelerator