At SSP America, we are strongest as a company when we fully leverage collaboration and inclusive practices. Collaboration at every level, particularly through our Airport Concession Disadvantage Business Enterprise (ACDBE) partnerships, also brings opportunity for innovation. The more voices at the table, the better our business operates.
SSP America embraces the tenets of the FAA Airport Concession Disadvantage Business Enterprise Program (ACDBE). Throughout our U.S. airport operations, SSP America regularly meets or exceeds ACDBE requirements while building lasting relationships with some of the best restaurant operators in the country.
We meet quarterly with both our ACDBE partners and our airport clients to ensure the SSP America team is aligned with our contractual obligations and building strong, long-term relationships.
SSP America has woven inclusion and opportunity into its corporate culture. Our goals mirror those of the U.S. Department of Transportation through our focus on:
Removing barriers for ACDBE participation by casting a wide net
Applying inclusive practices
Providing flexible options for ACDBE participation
SSP America’s ACDBE program has accomplished all three of these goals in dozens of airports across the country. Indeed, SSP America successfully maintains over 70 similar partnerships in every part of the United States.
Any questions about our program?
Contact: Heather Barry
Vice President, Strategic Partnerships 720-329-8673
“As the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, I’m responsible for SSP America’s strategic airport business diversity plans and programs across the company’s North American operations. The SSP America team has a strong commitment to our partners and the tenets of the FAA ACDBE program.” – Heather Barry, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships
Tools & Resources
What is a DBE?
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is implemented by recipients of DOT Federal Financial Assistance. Recipients are primarily state highway, transit, and airport agencies that receive funds subject to Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations part 26 (49 CFR 26). A similar program (49 CFR 23) for airport concession DBEs (ACDBE), is mandated by 49 U.S.C. 47107(e). The ACDBE program was originally enacted in 1987 and most recently amended in 2012.”
Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) are for-profit small business concerns where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations.
The U.S. Department of Transportation presumes the following groups to be socially and economically disadvantaged: African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans. Other individuals can also qualify as socially and economically disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis.
How to Obtain Certification
In order to compete as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) for airport projects that are funded with Federal dollars, or for an airport concession opportunity, you must first be certified as a DBE or an ACDBE under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.
To become certified you must contact your home state’s Unified Certification Program (UCP). Your home state is the state where your firm’s corporate headquarters is physically located, and is licensed to conduct business in that locality.
In general, to be eligible for the ACDBE program, persons must own 51% or more of a “small business,” establish that they are socially and economically disadvantaged within the meaning of DOT regulations, and prove they control their business.
Ownership– Your business must be 51% owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s).
“Disadvantaged”– You may be eligible if you are a member of a group of persons the Department considers as disadvantaged. The Department presumes certain groups are disadvantaged, 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). Persons who are not members of one of the above groups and own and control their business may also be eligible if they establish their “social” and “economic” disadvantage.
Business Size Determination– A firm (including its affiliates) must be a small business as defined by SBA standards. It must not have annual gross receipts over $23.98 million in the previous three fiscal years ($56.42 million for airport concessionaires in general with some exceptions).
Personal Net Worth– Only disadvantaged persons having a personal net worth of less than $1.32 million can be considered as a potential qualified ACDBE. Items excluded from a person’s net worth calculation include an individual’s ownership interest in the applicant firm, and his or her equity in their primary residence.