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Small Business Program

Small businesses are a critical part of creating economic vitality in the region. As a part of the Ports Century Agenda objectives, we are working to increase the proportion of funds spent by the Port with qualified small business firms on construction, consulting, and goods and services to forty (40) percent of the eligible dollars spent.

The port has contracted with BBC Research and Consulting to conduct a disparity study to analyze several years of the port’s contracts in public works and consulting services. This is to determine whether there is disparity between availability of able and willing minority and women owned firms and the historic levels of participation by such firms in port contracts, either as prime contractors or subcontractors.

The port’s Small Business Program is designed to develop mutually advantageous professional relationships with all small businesses. The program aims to encourage healthy competition, while also increasing the number of small businesses which includes minority, women, and disadvantaged firms applying and competing for Port procurements.

Under the Port’s Small Business Program, the Office of Social Responsibility manages and tracks three core programs: The Small Contractor and Suppliers (SCS) program, the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, and the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program.

Small Contractors and Suppliers Program (SCS)

Through a joint partnership with King County, a small business can fill out one application to be certified as an SCS firm for all government agencies utilizing the SCS program.

Registering as an SCS firm increases your competitiveness when bidding on port contracts. The incentives in each category may include:

Earn a 5% pricing advantage during evaluations

Earn evaluation points for using SCS firms for Categories II and III

SCS participation requirements, on a case-by-case basis

All SCS Company Names and Profiles are placed in an online directory. Find a list of FAQs here.

During 2013 a total of 89 SCS businesses received:
  • More than $10 million through port contract and sub contracting opporutnities.
  • 7.7 percent of expenditures, nearly 60 percent more than the 2012 SCS rate.

If you are interested in doing business with the Port, and want to fully maximize your SCS certification please register on the port’s Procurement and Roster Management System (PRMS).

If you have any questions please contact us.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE)

The port’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Programs established in accordance with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Federal program guidelines and procedures aid in ensuring that DBEs have equal opportunity to compete for contracts, subcontracts, and agreements in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts.

It is our policy to:

  • Ensure nondiscrimination in the award of DOT assisted contracts;
  • Create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for DOT assisted contracts;
  • Ensure that a firm meets federal eligibility standards (49 CFR Part 26) prior to participation in the DBE Program;
  • Assist in identifying and removing barriers to participation for DBEs in federally assisted contracts; and
  • Assist in the development of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, in order to increase their competitiveness in the market place.

The Port of Seattle has a 3 year overall-all goal of 5.44% DBE utilization on its federally assisted projects. If you have any questions regarding the Ports DBE program please contact us.

How do I become certified as a DBE?
Firms seeking to be federally certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) should contact the Office of Minority and Women Business Enterprises (OMWBE) in Olympia, WA, for information on the eligibility criteria, instructions and certification materials online or by phone 1-866-208-1064.

Small Business Enterprise Program (SBE)

The Port tracks Small Business Enterprises (SBE) participation for those firms that identify themselves as a small business. Please see the Small Business Administration (SBA) website which details the size standards for small businesses.

Airport Concessions Disadvantage Business Enterprise Program


King County

Effective January 1, 2014, King County will adjust the personal net worth criterion for small contractor and supplier certification from $750,000 to $1.32 million for all applications received on or after this date. Find more information here.



Contact us by phone (206) 787-5775 or email.