Posted by Anthony Foxx
As the former mayor of one our nation's fastest-growing cities, I know from firsthand experience that small businesses are the heart of our local economies. Small businesses create new jobs and they invest the money they make back into the communities they serve.
At the same time, we know that transportation is one of our greatest avenues for growth and competitiveness.
And when we can bring the two together--small businesses and transportation projects--that's a powerful one-two combination for jobs and economic vitality.
That's why DOT's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (ODSBU) works to ensure that America's small and minority-owned businesses are well-represented when transportation contracts are awarded. Earlier today, OSDBU hosted a Small Business Day at DOT Headquarters to help business owners learn about the opportunities available to them in DOT-related projects.
And while we talk the talk of encouraging transportation contractors to give Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) a fair shot at subcontracts, we have also walked the walk in our own contracting and purchase of goods and services. For the first time, DOT has exceeded our goal for promoting veteran-owned businesses. And we received an "A" rating from the Small Business Administration for supporting small business contracting in Fiscal Year 2012. In fact, we are one of only six federal agencies to earn an "A" for the last four years in a row.
The bottom line is that small businesses are the engine of our economy; they are at the heart of President Obama's vision of a stronger American middle class; and DOT wants to make sure every small business has the opportunity to help the nation build the roads, rails, runways, and ports we need to compete in the 21st century global economy.
Our Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization gives us a powerful tool to achieve that goal.