Civil Rights

Small Business Development

Contracts Program

The Iowa Department of Transportation offers a program specific to small business contractors where small businesses compete against each other and not against large contractors. This program, separate from the DBE Certification, is called the Small Business Development Contracts Program. To be eligible for this, a small business must become a Certified Small Business Contractor (CSBC) by meeting the requirements through the Iowa DOT’s Civil Rights Bureau. (Note: There is no ethnic or gender limitation for this program.)

Steps to Take

To become a CSBC, and to bid on the small business contracts, follow the steps below:

  1. Verify that your business meets the small business requirements defined by the SBA (Small Business Administration) using their size standard matrix and NAICS codes. You can find the basic requirements here.
  2. Self-certify that your company meets the requirements of a small business by filling out a Small Business Certification Form 650064 and return it to the to the DOT Civil Rights Bureau. Once qualified, the status is good for one year.
  3. Obtain Vendor/Bidder ID from the Contracts Bureau. Submit contact information, Bidder Status Form, Submission of Electronics Bid form and Record of Past Experience to the Contracts Bureau via a Contractor’s Qualified Bidder Statement.
  4. Watch for the small business development contracts bid opportunities posted in the Iowa DOT Contracts Bureau monthly lettings, found on the Bid Express Lettings page. The applicable contracts typically are grouped together at the end of the letting with the bid order numbers starting at 981, 982, etc.
    • Suppliers can review projects without a subscription in Bid Express. However, to bid a project you must have a subscription to Bid Express. The monthly fee is $40.
    • Note: Suppliers are responsible for monitoring the monthly lettings for projects of interest and potential bidding opportunities. There is no notification of opportunities by the Contracts Bureau.
  5. Request eligibility to bid as a prime contractor for the Small Business projects of interest by noon on the day before the intended letting (each bid) via the “Request Bidder Eligibility” function on the Bid Express website.
    • The Record of Past Experience provided via the Contractor’s Qualified Bidder Statement (#3 above) must show the contractor has past work experience and is recognized as a contractor engaged in the class of work provided for in the plans and specifications of each proposal on which the company is requesting eligibility to bid.

For questions about becoming a Certified Small Business Contractor (CSBC), contact:
Mary Zimmerman, DBE Support Services Specialist,
Phone: 515-450-1278
For questions about getting qualified and requesting eligibility to bid, contact:
Jason Miller, Prequalification Analyst in the Iowa DOT Contracts Bureau
Phone: 515-239-1071

Iowa DOT ensures nondiscrimination and equal employment in all programs and activities in accordance with Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other nondiscrimination statutes. If you need more information or special assistance for persons with disabilities or limited English proficiency, contact Iowa DOT Civil Rights at 515-239-1111 or by email at


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