NFTA Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Certification Program


What is the DBE Program?

The DBE Program is a federally regulated program which is required on all federally assisted contracts. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) is a recipient of federally assisted funds and, therefore, administers the DBE Program and must adhere to Title 49-Transportation, Code of Federal Regulations.

Do you qualify as a DBE?

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.

Disadvantaged would include persons who are citizens of the U.S. or lawful permanent residents and who are Blacks (not of Hispanic origin); Hispanics (persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race); Asian Americans; American Indians or Alaskan Natives.

To be regarded as economically disadvantaged, an individual must have a personal net worth that does not exceed $1.32 million. To be seen as a small business, a firm must meet SBA size criteria AND have average annual gross receipts not to exceed $23.98 million. Size limits for the airport concessions DBE program are higher.

New York State Certification Program

The NYSUCP is responsible for DBE certification in the state of New York and provides firms with "one-stop" shopping. The NFTA is one of four certifying members in the New York State Unified Certification Program (NYSUCP) and is responsible for all DBE certification in Western New York. Other partners in the NYSUCP include: Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York State Department of Transportation and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The NYSUCP members are responsible for determining if firms meet the DBE certification or Airport Concession DBE (ACDBE) eligibility requirements, as detailed in Title 49 Part 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations or Title 49 Part 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations respectively. Firms interested in ACDBE Certification must apply through the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey or Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.


NFTA is committed to the development and implementation of an effective Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.

Federal vs State Programs

The DBE Program is a separate program and subject to different requirements than the New York State Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Women-owned Business Enterprise Program (WBE). The MWBE Program applies only to New York State funded construction contracts therefore, it does not directly apply to Federal Contracts.

For more information on the MWBE Programs, please refer to the following web link:

To access the NFTA DBE certification System click here: or for additional information about DBE Program please contact (716) 855-7486 or