Columbia's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (CDBE)

It is the policy of the City that Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) shall be afforded the opportunity
to participate fully in its overall procurement process.

City of Columbia's Office of Business Opportunities CDBE Guidelines Meeting
To learn more about the Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (CDBE) revisions and how to register your business as a CDBE, click on the link below to view the CDBE Guidelines Meeting from May 27th!
CDBE Guidelines Meeting - May 27, 2021

CDBE Policy, Application Form and Current CDBE & DBE Directories:
Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (CDBE) Program Brochure
Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (CDBE) Program Guidelines
Commercial Non-Discrimination and Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (CDBE) Utilization Policy
CDBE Documents (see below for CDBE Important Documents)
CDBE Application Form
CDBE Directory - Registered Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (Columbia ONLY)
DBE Directory - Registered Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (Outside of Columbia ONLY)

A Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (CDBE) is defined as (1) a certified business (2) has had an active office in the Columbia-Orangeburg-Newberry Combined Statistical Area (Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Richland, Saluda, or Orangeburg) for one year; and (3) is a socially and/or economically disadvantaged business.

The objectives of the Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (CDBE) Policy are to

(a) Take specific steps to ensure non-discriminatory practices and results in the future; and
(b) Fully involve CDBEs in the City’s procurement process

Offerors must identify and select specific work items to be performed by subcontractors in a CDBE project.  Offerors are expected to subdivide total contract work requirements into smaller, economically feasible portions or quantities, to permit maximum active utilization of CDBEs.

The CDBE policy applies when the City has placed a CDBE utilization goal on a project.  The offeror must subcontract a percentage of its bid to qualified available CDBE subcontractors. The goal will be established based upon the identified subcontracting areas and the relative availability of CDBEs who will be able to assist the City of Columbia in completion of a specific project. 

A good faith effort review will verify that the offeror made CDBE subcontracting opportunities available to a broad base of qualified CDBE subcontractors, negotiated in good faith with interested CDBE subcontractors and did not reject any bid for unlawful discriminatory reasons.  

CDBE Documents

Compliance Submittal Period (CSP) Documentation
Compliance Submittal Period (CSP) Letter of Commitment and Participation Log

Good Faith Efforts Documentation
This documentation must be submitted along with the Compliance Submittal Period (CSP) Letter of Commitment and Participation Log if offeror fails to meet at least 50 percent of the CDBE goal placed on a project.

Other Agency SMWBE Resources:
SC Governor's Office of Small and Minority Owned Businesses
SC Department of Transportation:

Questions?  Contact OBO Compliance Office, 1401 Main St., 4th Fl., Columbia, SC, or call 803.545.3950 
Contact OBO Compliance Office at 803.545.3950