Business Diversity Development Program

The Business Diversity Development (BDD) program is designed to encourage disadvantaged, minority and/or women-owned businesses to participate in request for bids from Memphis International Airport (MEM).

Wondering how this program differs from the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program? They are essentially identical from your perspective as a bidder/vendor, with the only real difference being the source of funds the airport uses to pay for the goods or services needed. If federal funds are to be used, the airport submits bid requests through the DBE program. If the funds are not federal, the airport submits bid requests through the BDD program.

The certification required to participate in both programs, called DBE Certification, is identical, as are request for bid instructions.

Qualification Criteria

  • The business must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged or, in the case of a corporation, in which 51 percent of the stock is owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
  • Business management and daily business operations must be controlled by one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own it, are U.S. citizens, and who have personal net worth (PNW) not to exceed $1,320,000.
  • Socially and economically disadvantaged individuals are defined as:
    • African-Americans
    • Hispanic-Americans
    • Native-Americans
    • Asian-Pacific Americans
    • Subcontinent Asian-Americans
    • Women
    • Any additional groups found to be socially and economically disadvantaged by the SBA under section 8(a) of the Small Business Act.

Get Certified

Minority or woman owners are encouraged to complete the DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) certification process. Certification is the process of determining whether individuals and firms have sufficiently demonstrated group membership, ownership, control, and social economic disadvantage. All businesses seeking to do business with the Airport as a DBE must be certified. The Memphis Shelby-County Airport Authority performs the certification evaluation of prospective DBEs and minority and women-owned businesses. Each business wishing to participate as a DBE or a joint venture DBE must be certified through MSCAA or the Tennessee Uniform Certification Program (TNUCP) at the time of bid/proposal submission.  

This will allow you to bid on both Business Diversity Development and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise projects. Begin this certification process by completing the DBE-ACBE Application and the DBE-ACDBE PNW Statement. You will then be contacted for an on-site interview at your place of business.

The certification process itself requires a thorough investigation of a company's operations including, but not limited to: financial statements; by-laws; charter; stock certificates; lease agreements; salaries of owners; number of employees; licenses/authorities; etc. Each applicant is required to undergo a personal interview with a member of the Business Diversity Development staff during a site visit. MSCAA publishes a directory of all certified DBEs and makes it available to all prime and sub-contractors. The certification process can take up to 90 days.

If you are only interested in bidding on a concessions contract, please complete the DBE-ACBE Application and the DBE-ACDBE PNW Statement. For more information read the ACDBE Program document.

Once the certification process is completed successfully, all vendors must renew their certification annually by completing the Annual DBE-ACDBE Renewal Application.

See What Goods and Services Are Available for Bid and Submit a Proposal

Once certified, you can review goods and services up for bid. If your company offers the goods or services requested, we encourage you to submit a proposal according to the guidelines provided in the bid notification.

Memphis International Airport posts all bids and legal notices in the following Memphis metro area newspapers:

Bid and legal notices are forwarded to business association and advocacy groups as well. If you would like your organization listed, please contact the Business Diversity Development Office at 901-922-0255 or email us.

Bid documents may be examined at the following locations:

  • Engineer's Office at the MSCAA Development Office
  • Builder's Exchange Plans Room
  • Construction Market Data, Inc.
  • F.W. Dodge Plans Room
  • Memphis Area Minority Contractor's Association
  • Memphis Business Development Center
  • Mid-South Minority Business Council
  • National Minority Contractors Association

If you have any questions, you please contact the Business Diversity Development Office at 901-922-0255 or email us.

Information Change Requests

If you have previously completed a certification application and have information to change on your application, please click here (PDF).

Additional Resources

MEM Organizational Chart (PDF)

DBE Plan and Policy Document (PDF)

ACDBE Plan and Policy Document (To be published)

Lease and Concession Agreement Template (PDF)

DBE Interstate Certification Application (PDF)

MEM FY 2017-2019 DBE Goal (PDF)

MEM FY 2018-2020 ACDBE Non-Car Rental Goal (PDF)

MEM FY 2018-2020 ACDBE Car Rental Goal (PDF)

MEM FY 2017 BDD Annual Report (PDF)

BDD Testimonials Video 

For a listing of TNUCP click here. For a listing of MSCAA Certified Companies click here

For the 2013 Disparity Study, click here.

Follow this link for more information on Non-Discrimination in Federally Assisted Programs.

For the TN Title VI Non-Discrimination Poster, click here.

For the FAA Non-Discrimination Poster, click here.

TN Uniform Certification Program Agreement (PDF)

Project Reporting Form (PDF)

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