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Denver's Certified Construction Firms Awarded Larger Share of Federally Funded Airport Contracts

Denver International Airport is excited to announce that it has exceeded the Federal Aviation Administration requirement for engaging local and small business partners in airport business opportunities. For the second year in a row, DIA has surpassed the FAA-approved goal for the percentage of work performed by companies owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals on airport runway pavement and rehabilitation construction.

Because DIA receives funds from the FAA, it is required to participate in the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program. The program provides opportunities for DBE-certified companies to bid on, and be involved as subcontractors in, airport construction projects. DIA's Commerce Hub plays a critical role in connecting small, minority- and women-owned companies with airport business opportunities to help achieve DBE participation goals.

Although the fiscal year 2014 FAA-approved goal for DIA was set at 13.25 percent, the airport achieved a DBE participation rate of 17.38 percent. Goals are measured as a percentage of contract dollars. In 2014, DIA received $14,081,620 from the FAA to pay for runway pavement rehabilitation and improvements. Of that amount, $2,448,146 was committed to certified DBE companies working on those projects. Denver's Division of Small Business Opportunity, which administers the federal DBE program, reported the airport's results to the FAA.

"This is the second year in a row that Denver International Airport has exceeded its goals for women- and minority-owned firm participation in airfield projects," said Denver International Airport CEO Kim Day. "This achievement demonstrates our continued commitment to embracing inclusivity and providing meaningful opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses in all airport projects and programs."

About the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program:
To qualify as a certified DBE, a company must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged. Its daily business operations must also be controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. For more information about business opportunities at DIA, visit

Ten Tips to Help You Build and Grow a Stand-Out Small Business Brand

Caron Beesley, small business owner, writer and contributor to the
U.S. Small Business Administration, published 10 business tips on July 29, 2013, to cultivate your business's identity and presence. An excerpt of the article follows.

"The United States' love for small businesses—it's official! That's according to a survey by the Pew Foundation (reported here on SmallBizTrends) which found that 71 percent of Americans view small businesses more favorably than any other institutions, including religious organizations.

Why is this? Well, small businesses are seen as a positive influence 'on the way things are going in this country.' But it's more than that. Small businesses are in a unique position to create valuable customer experiences. Their products and services are often niche; the target customer is very defined; and business operations are agile and unconstrained by corporate rules and processes.

Small businesses are also trusted for their integrity, community engagement and customer service. When was the last time you called a small business and got put through to an automated call center? These seemingly small things come together to create a hugely competitive value proposition—and are the lynchpin of your brand. But what can you do to leverage these experiences and grow the appeal of your brand without breaking the bank? Here are 10 tips that can help:

  • What Is Your Brand?

First, it's important to understand that your brand is much more than your logo, merchandising or products.

  • Stand Out

Standing out means being different. If your brand is going to be strong, you need to be able to pinpoint what it is that makes what you do unique.

  • Have Great Products and Services

Word of mouth is often a small business's greatest lead generator, so having great products and services that people talk about is a critical part of your brand and why you are in business.  

  • Make Sure Your Customers Know the Face Behind the Product

One of the biggest reasons that small businesses fail is because of the persistent absence of the business owner.

  • Get Your Name and Logo Right

This is essential to brand recognition and it's important to get it right the first time (changing your name and logo can be costly down the road).

  • Have a Distinct Voice

A great way to ensure your distinct brand message is delivered consistently across your business is to focus on how you and your employees interact and communicate with customers—in-person, on the phone and on social media.

  • Build Community Around What You Do

A successful brand is one that is trusted and respected by customers—building a strong community online and off can help you achieve this.

  • Be an Advocate for Your Business – Not Just a Salesman

You don't have to be the greatest salesman to succeed in business. Selling takes many forms, and being a brand advocate gels them all together.

  • Be Reliable

Letting your customers down by failing to live up to your own promises and brand standards can be particularly harmful for small businesses that depend heavily on referrals.

  • Have a Value Proposition

Value, not to be mistaken with price, can help define your brand and differentiate you from the competition."

To read the complete article click on Caron Beesley.

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Business Tip

Badging and Security— Business Services
Performing contract work on airport grounds differs from that of offsite commercial counterparts because of strict rules and regulations that govern access to the DIA property. Understanding badging and security compliance requirements for concession, construction, goods and services, or professional services contracts can help keep you a step ahead and succeed as an airport contractor.   

DIA Security manages regulatory functions for the airport workforce community. Airport Security also ensures that airport identification badge holders are in compliance with the rules and regulations for possessing and using airport ID badges. Whether you are a current airport badge holder or a firm pursing business opportunities at the airport, there is a wealth of informational resources and services available to ensure your understanding and compliance with DIA's badging and security requirements. 

To learn more about the Airport Security services please click on the DIA "Security and Badging" link.  

Turner's School of Construction Management

Construction management expertise is often sought by our local emerging or growing small, minority-, and women-owned businesses. With opportunities abounding in Colorado, Turner Construction along with Associated General Contractors of America is seeking out firms to train.

They have opened registration for their 2015 School of Construction Management training course. This nine-week course is offered free of charge to small, minority-, and women-owned businesses in the Denver metro area.

This year's program will begin on Feb. 3, 2015, with classes held every Tuesday evening through March 31, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Associated General Contractors Denver office at 1114 W. 7th Ave. Courses will be led by various business professionals, including Turner staff members and a construction lawyer from Moye White. The topics are: Green Building, Project Delivery Systems, How to Run Your Business, How to Get Paid, Estimating/Procurement, BIM 101, Scheduling, Accounting Basics, Field Operations/Safety, and Sales and Marketing.

Turner's Denver Business Unit has hosted this course for the last 13 years. The Turner School of Construction Management is the oldest community outreach program in Turner's history. It was initiated in 1969, one year after its Affirmative Action Department was created. It soon became an opportunity to develop strategic business relationships with minority- and women-owned firms.

To register, please RSVP to Carie Bowles at or (303) 753-9600 by Jan. 9, 2015.

Upcoming Events

DIA Commerce Hub Business Education and Support Training Presents:

Navigating the Legal Issues of Doing Business at DIA

January 9, 2015
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Webb Building, Room 4.F.6, Fourth Floor
201 W. Colfax Ave.

Please click on the link to register for this session. Seating is limited, so sign up early.

DIA Commerce Hub Contractor Conversations

January 22, 2015
8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Location: WorldPort Conference Room H
24735 E. 75 Ave., Denver
Contact Alicia Avila at for registration information.

Airport Business Opportunities—At Your Finger Tips

Remain informed about airport current business opportunities and upcoming business activities by visiting the Business Center webpage. Complete the Concessions and Project application forms to be electronically notified of contract announcements. 

Contact & Office Location

DIA Commerce Hub
Jeppesen Terminal, Level 6, West
Open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(303) 342-2351

Commerce Hub


City & County of Denver Department of Aviation
8500 Peña Boulevard | Denver, Colorado U.S.A. | 80249-6340

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