Columbia’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (CDBE)

It is the policy of the City that Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) shall be afforded the opportunity to participate fully in its overall procurement process.

Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (CDBE) is defined as (1) a certified business (2) has had an active office in the Columbia-Orangeburg-Newberry Combined Statistical Area (Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Richland, Saluda, or Orangeburg) for one year; and (3) is a socially and/or economically disadvantaged business.

The objectives of the Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (CDBE) Policy are to

(a) Take specific steps to ensure non-discriminatory practices and results in the future; and
(b) Fully involve CDBEs in the City’s procurement process

Bidders and proposers must identify and select specific work items to be performed by subcontractors in a subject project.  Bidders and proposers are expected to subdivide total contract work requirements into smaller, economically feasible portions or quantities, to permit maximum active utilization of CDBEs.

The CDBE policy applies when the City has placed a mandatory subcontractor goal on a project, including Subcontractor Outreach Program (SOP) projects. This policy does not apply for Mentor Protégé Program (MPP) projects.  The bidder must subcontract a percentage of its bid to qualified available CDBE subcontractors. The percentage goal will be established based upon the identified subcontracting areas and the relative availability of CDBE’s who will be able to assist the City of Columbia in completion of a specific project.

A good faith effort review will verify that the bidder made CDBE subcontracting opportunities available to a broad base of qualified CDBE subcontractors, negotiated in good faith with interested CDBE subcontractors and did not reject any bid for unlawful discriminatory reasons.

Contact OBO Compliance Office at +1 (803) 545-3950 or email us at
Apply NOW for CDBE Status!

Is your business:
1)  Located within the Columbia-Orangeburg-Newberry Combined Statistical Area (CSA)?
2)  A Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)?

That’s all it takes to qualify for CDBE Status – it’s that simple! Please visit our main CBDE web page at

Feel free to eMail Us or call:  +1 (803) 545-3950 with any questions.