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The State of Rhode Island

Disability Business Enterprise

Program

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does my company/organization qualify to become a Disability Business Enterprise (DBE)?

            I am a business owner with a disability, does my business meet the DBE qualifications?

Will becoming a DBE help me do business with the State of Rhode Island?

How do I apply for certification?

How do I apply for recertification?

 

 

Does my company/organization qualify to become a Disability Business Enterprise (DBE)?

To become a certified Disability Business Enterprise in the State of Rhode Island, your business must meet one of the following criteria:

1. Businesses owned and controlled by persons with disabilities, with 50 or fewer employees

2. Manufacturers of any goods or merchandise if not less than sixty percent (60%) of the work hours or direct labor required for the products are performed by persons with disabilities;

3. Service Providers if not less than sixty percent (60%) of the work hours or direct labor required for the services are performed by persons with disabilities; and

4. Non-profit rehabilitation facilities

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I am a business owner with a disability, does my business meet the DBE qualifications?

Your business will qualify if your physical or mental disability is a substantial barrier to employment as determined by the RI Department of Human Services. As the person with a disability you need not be receiving services from DHS to qualify.  To learn more about this requirement contact the DBE Coordinator.

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Will becoming a DBE help me do business with the State of Rhode Island?

Before you begin the DBE application process, you should determine if becoming a certified DBE is going to be beneficial to your business.  If you are interested in selling your products or services to the State, take the time to research if the State purchases your products or services.  For example, if you provide a transportation-related service, then contact the RI DOT to determine if there is a need for your service.  Alternatively, the RIVIP web site (www.rivip.gov) allows businesses to search for the commodities that are purchased by the State.  If you want to increase your sales volume with the State, then knowing the State has need for goods and services is the first step.

A further consideration once you determine that the State purchases your products is your ability to provide the quantities it purchases.   For example, if you produce 100 widgets per month but the State purchases 1000 per month, then you are not going to be able to meet the Stateís needs and pursuing the business may be a waste of effort..

What happens if you find that the State does not use your goods or services?  Is it still worthwhile becoming a DBE?  Does being a DBE have value in the commercial world?  As with many things in business, it will be what you make of it.  Is there value in marketing your business as disability owned or employing people with disabilities?  If you are providing your customers with a quality product at a reasonable price and doing that with people who have a disability then it speaks to the quality of your business.  The certification we provide can assure your potential customers that your business has met the criteria and is entitled to recognition as a DBE.  Companies who pride themselves on being corporate good citizens may be inclined to do business with you.  The DBEC provides training and marketing opportunities that are only available to its certified DBEs.

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How do I apply for certification?

Before you apply for certification, you must have an RIVIP Identification Number which can be obtained from the Division of Purchasesí website at: http://www.purchasing.ri.gov/VendorRegistration.asp.  There are excellent tutorials available on the purchasing web site to help you understand how to use the site and to guide you through the process.

You will be asked to provide basic information about your business.

If your business meets any of these criteria you may apply for certification by completing the application that can be found on the World Wide Web at: DBE Application

If you do not have access to the Web, you may request an application by calling 401-462-0100.

Completed applications should be submitted to the Disability Business Enterprise Committee at the State of Rhode Islandís Governorís Commission on Disabilities before the end of the calendar year. Certifications are granted for one calendar year, and are renewed annually in January

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How do I apply for recertification?

Certifications are granted for one calendar year, and are renewed annually in January. Completed applications should be submitted to the Disability Business Enterprise Committee at the State of Rhode Islandís Governorís Commission on Disabilities before the end of the calendar year. To recertify you need only provide updated information for those items that have changed since your last certification.  Use the Contact Info link to find how to contact us.

Applications can be found on the web at

DBE Application

If you do not have access to the Web, you may request an application by calling 401-462-0100.

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