Certified Business Enterprise Initiative

A Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) is typically a small and/or local business, or a historically underrepresented business, headquartered in the District that has been certified by the Department of Small and Local Business Development. There are a number of factors that contribute to whether a company can become a CBE, but CBEs receive preference in procurement opportunities and, in general, the program helps position businesses to better compete in District Government contracting opportunities.

Supporting the development of CBEs in the District is a top strategic priority for the DCPSC. The Commission is taking deliberate steps to engage stakeholders to become a CBE and participate in bidding for professional services, especially in the areas of professional engineering, accounting, economics, law, and marketing/communications. Our goal is to achieve or exceed providing 35% of the Commission’s total procurement contract dollars to CBEs.
The DCPSC has also set a requirement for CBE participation in any procurement of $100,000 or more for professional services. Staff work to coordinate and participate in outreach efforts that publicize the DCPSC’s procurement opportunities as well as establish strategic partnerships to help advance CBE participation in procurement.

Become a CBE
Is your company or organization looking to make #BossMoves? At the DCPSC, that would be “Business Opportunities for Suppliers and Services.” Use the links below to watch our Certified Business Enterprise Webinar Series to learn how to become a CBE, to better understand the bidding process and available procurements, and to network with other vendors and Commission staff.
Business opportunities at the
DCPSC for suppliers and services
Webinar I


Watch this session to learn about innovative projects and future procurement opportunities at the DCPSC. The webinar will detail the Commission’s mission, upcoming projects, potential procurement opportunities as well as explain the Commission’s procurement process.
How to become a Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) in Washington, D.C.
Webinar II 


Watch this session to learn how to become a CBE in the District. Representatives from the DCPSC, the Department of Small and Local Business Development and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ Business Resource Center will highlight the District’s CBE program and certification process as well as explain how to find business opportunities. The webinar will detail the process of business registration and professional licensing in addition to linking small businesses with technical assistance and other resources.

Virtual networking event: 
Expanding your business

Webinar III


Watch this session to learn more about how the DCPSC manages the agency/vendor relationship and hear testimonials from businesses that have worked or are currently working with the Commission.

Questions or concerns regarding webinar registration? Please email cbeinquiries@psc.dc.gov.

Certified Business Enterprise Webinar FAQ
How do I become a Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) and is there a cost for certification?
You must submit an application with the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development. There is no fee to apply for a CBE certification.

What is the Greenbook and where can I find it?
The DC Greenbook is a comprehensive listing of DC agencies and their respective procurement opportunities. You can access it at the www.greenbookdc.com

How do I apply for a business license?
You must apply for a business license with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), and the cost for the application $70 and up to $25 for each endorsement are required. For more information, contact https://dcra.dc.gov
How long does it take to become a CBE and how often must a business apply for certification?
After receiving the application and all supporting materials, it must be submitted to DCRA along with appropriate fees.  It requires up to 45 business days for review and determination of certification. For more information, contact https://dslbd.dc.gov
Will microgrids be placed in every neighborhood and how may homes will the pilot include?
No, the Governance Board will recommend pilot projects for microgrids. The pilot projects must be approved by the Commission. Because microgrids are relatively new, the pilot project will be in target areas/neighborhoods and these selected sample areas will help identify any potential challenges. At this time, it is uncertain how many homes will be included in the pilot.
Are there any additional professional areas that you consider in addition to the professions you listed on Mr. Martinez’s presentation?
Absolutely, Highlighted are the main areas that we typically issue for RFPs. Companies should check our website for upcoming RFP’s that are issued throughout the year.