Supplier Diversity

GRTC strives for diversity in our procurement and contracting processes and is committed to providing opportunities for small, women, minority and disadvantaged businesses.  Our Supplier Diversity program is designed to promote and increase the participation of diverse suppliers and includes two different types of small business programs. The Small, Women, and Minority Business Enterprise (SWaM) program is a state program of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The purpose is to enhance procurement opportunities for SWaM businesses participating in state-funded projects.  The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is a federally funded program intended to provide contracting opportunities to small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Since GRTC receives federal, state, and local funding, it must follow a procurement process that ensures full and open competition.

How to Participate

Businesses qualify as a diverse supplier if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • Small Business Enterprise (SBE)
  • Women Business Enterprise (WBE)
  • Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)
  • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)

Those interested in doing business through the Supplier Diversity Program should be able to verify that they are financially sound and can provide a quality good or service through one of two ways: Become certified as a SWaM or DBE through the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), the certifying agency in Virginia, or request and submit a Small Business Verification Form (PDF) from the GRTC Supplier Diversity Liaison.

If you need assistance or have questions regarding the application process, please contact:

Antionette Haynes
Supplier Diversity Liaison 
GRTC Transit System
301 E. Belt Boulevard
Richmond, Virginia 23224
804 358-3871

We aim to create equal opportunities on which all firms can compete successfully in the market place and ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of all contracts.

What We Buy (PDF)

Click HERE to register your company as a vendor. By registering as a vendor you will be added to our internal vendors list, utilized by departmental buyers searching for suppliers.


GRTC has submitted a DBE Program to the FTA, U.S. Department of Transportation that documents the specific policies GRTC has developed for the administration of the program and statewide overall goal. The overall goal is updated on a triennial basis. 

DBE Eligibility Requirements

To participate as a DBE the firm must receive certification as a DBE.

Your firm must be an independent business owned (at least 51%) and controlled by a member or members of a socially or economically disadvantaged group.

Groups include:

  •  African Americans
  •  Native Americans
  •  Hispanic
  •  Asian-Pacific
  •  Asian-Indian Americans
  •  Women
  •  Individuals found to be disadvantaged as defined by the Small Business Act under the 8(a) program

Individual owners must have a personal net worth not exceeding $1,320,000 (excluding ownership interest in the firm, retirement fund assets, and equity value of primary residence). The firm's average gross receipts over the last three years must not exceed $22.410 million. There are different size limits for various categories of businesses.


DBE Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept other types of certifications like MBE or DBE certifications performed by an agency other than VDOT?

No.  Since GRTC receives federal funding from the DOT, only the VDOT DBE certification will be accepted.  Further, if a company is certified as a DBE by another agency, that company must still go through VDOT's certification process to be accepted by GRTC.  A DBE certification from another agency may, however, speed up the certification process for VDOT.

What do I need to do to participate in GRTC's DBE program?

To participate in GRTC's DBE program, first get certified as a DBE through VDOT.  Next, send GRTC's DBE Liaison Officer information on your company for inclusion in our purchasing vendor database.  Next, market your company to GRTC and also look in the Richmond area newspapers for solicitation advertisements.  Finally, be persistent.

If I am a non-DBE business, how can I locate DBE firms to compete for subcontracting opportunities?

Visit the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Vendor Directory to view the listing of DBE certified businesses available.  GRTC's DBE Liaison Officer can provide listings of DBE firms upon request.  Various chambers of commerce, technical assistance organizations, newspaper advertising, trade and professional organizations, etc. are ways to locate potential DBE firms.

How will a DBE certification improve my opportunities to compete for business with GRTC?

A DBE status makes it easier to identify and ensure that minority and women owned firms are solicited for bids and proposals.  Also, on applicable solicitations, a DBE subcontracting goal is assigned.  Prime contractors must then seek to meet that DBE subcontracting goal or establish that good faith efforts were made to do so.

If my company is minority or woman owned, am I required to be certified as a DBE company to compete for/do business with GRTC?

DBE certification is not a requirement.  Any minority or woman owned company can compete for and do business with GRTC, just like a majority owned company, without being certified as a DBE firm.  The only requirement for any company is to be a responsible and viable company that can provide the goods and/or services solicited in a cost effectively and efficient manner.

Once I am certified, will that guarantee that I will get business from GRTC?

No.  Even if you are certified, you must still market your business, offer competitive prices, and offer goods and services that GRTC solicits.  Since GRTC is a small public transit agency, the amount and frequency of opportunities will be significantly smaller than the larger public agencies in the area and the competition will be greater.

How do I know if I qualify?

You must apply for and then go through a certification process.   GRTC uses the certification service provided by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD) located in Richmond, Virginia.  The certification service is free and an application can be obtained from that office at 1111 East Main Street, Suite 300, Richmond, VA, 23219, or (804) 786-5560.  An application can also be obtained by contacting GRTC's DBE Liaison Officer at (804) 358-3871.

DBE Directory -  The DBE Directory identifies the certified DBE firms for the purpose of providing a reference source to assist bidders in meeting any DBE participation requirements. 

SWaM Directory- The SWaM Directory identifies certified SWaM firms for the purpose of providing a reference source to assist bidders in meeting any SWaM participation requirements.

Federal Regulations

Take me back to the main GRTC Procurement page.