July 2014
DIA Commerce Hub Receives Award for Programming and Service Excellence

DIA's Commerce Hub was the co-recipient of the Airport Minority Advisory Council's (AMAC's) 2014 "Award of the Organization."

The AMAC board gives the Award of the Organization to an airport or a firm for significant contributions toward the realization of DBE or equal employment opportunity goals (e.g., program implementation, new program initiatives to foster growth, development of DBEs, or encouragement of employment, research, litigation, etc.). The DIA Commerce Hub was selected for its overall programs and its recent accomplishments.

Since it was formed approximately three years ago, the Commerce Hub has worked to increase the opportunity and capacity of the local business community through contracting, educational programs, prime engagement and business development.


The Commerce Hub has given technical assistance to more than 500 companies and individuals seeking aviation opportunities at DIA. It helps aspiring entrepreneurs understand and use the local and national programs that encourage and support minority business participation at DIA. From becoming certified as an Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise to applying for DIA's innovative Concession Loan Program, which provides initial capital for first-time concessionaires, the Commerce Hub helps businesses every step of the way and connects firms to airport business opportunities in four major categories:

  • Procurement of goods and professional services
  • Dining, shopping and retail kiosk concessions
  • Construction and construction-related professional services
  • Commercial land development referrals

By cultivating strong relationships with local chambers, industry groups and key organizations, the Commerce Hub has dramatically increased the visibility of DIA within the local business community and has worked to find solutions to the barriers that some small businesses or minority-owned companies might experience when entering the aviation sector.

During the last three years, the Commerce Hub has worked to build these critical partnerships, and an estimated 15,000 business owners and members of the Denver Metro community have been touched by these efforts in some way.

Just some of the recent initiatives that the Commerce Hub has developed are:

  • Participated in all industry organizations and all regional minority and women chambers of commerce
  • Created Contractor Conversations— a monthly meeting with current aspiring DIA construction contractors that addresses airport business processes, programs and issues
  • Began publishing a monthly e-newsletter (reaches over 1,000 people)
  • Sponsored nearly two dozen outreach events
  • Held "How To Do Business with DIA" workshops
  • Provided education workshops
  • Promoted new aviation scholarships through AMAC

The airport's success for awarding contracts to certified firms maximizes the role of these companies in aviation business opportunities. The Commerce Hub has matched DBEs with airport concessionaires on tenant finishes and has facilitated the opportunity for certified ACDBEs to earn $115 million of total DIA concessions revenue. In 2013, it helped to add 1,509 certified minority firms at DIA and surpass the FAA minority participation goal for runway rehabilitation work.

 "Denver International Airport has made it a priority to embrace inclusivity and to provide significant participation by minority- and women-owned businesses in all airport projects and programs," said Kim Day, CEO of Denver International Airport.

Business Tip

The DIA Project Calendar is a useful tool to remain updated with the airport's construction and professional services procurement activities month by month. Contract activities, such as bid openings, open solicitations, scheduled pre-bid meetings, etc., are provided in an easy-to-find and quick-to-read layout. Stay informed about DIA's contracting business and bidding activities using this real-time schedule of contract notice postings and about the Airport Business Management Services procurement activities and timelines.

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PM Manual
Airport Infrastructure Management Updates Project Management Guidelines

The purpose of the publication Project Management Guidelines is to provide relevant team members of the Airport Infrastructure Management (AIM) Division with uniform direction and the information necessary to successfully administer professional services and construction projects.

Because AIM will have consultants and contractor teams during the execution of development projects, it is imperative that all teams employ similar management techniques and operate within the framework established by the guidelines. The AIM Project Management Guidelines are a tool that provides the various teams associated with the AIM Division with management, communication and documentation procedures—procedures selected for more effective project delivery. These procedures will be updated periodically.

A project manager is ultimately responsible for the execution of all design and construction management services in accordance with procedures contained within the Guidelines. Questions about the interpretation of the publication's guidelines or the applicability of differing or unique circumstances faced on a project should be brought to the attention of the AIM Development Section's senior director and staff. Click on this link to see the full guidelines or go to: http://business.flydenver.com/bizops/documents/

Hot Dog
Seasoned Firms are a Good Ingredient for Airport Concessions Business Opportunities

Food and beverage, retail, or service business owners at Denver International Airport become successful because each performs effectively within the framework of the airport's stringent policies, its business management processes, and contract execution. Businesses that aspire to be located at DIA can improve their bidding prospects by demonstrating a track record of success and that they possess the wherewithal to maintain and grow the business in a busy airport environment.

La Casita

New businesses and start-ups aspiring to become a DIA tenants can begin that journey by establishing their companies elsewhere in the community. This affords the time to formulate operational culture, branding, and amass the financial worthiness to succeed in a more competitive business environment.  

Tattered Cover

Choosing the right community for your business venture and making it thrive can be assets to your effort of becoming aviation bound. The following article illustrates key considerations for helping plan the location of your business so your business plan can eventually take off in an airport setting.

Tips for Choosing Your Business Location

Courtesy of SBA.gov

Choosing a business location is perhaps the most important decision a small business owner or startup will make, so it requires precise planning and research. It involves looking at demographics, assessing your supply chain, scoping the competition, staying on budget, understanding state laws and taxes, and much more.  Here are some tips to help you choose the right business location.

Determine Your Needs
Most businesses choose a location that provides exposure to customers. Additionally, there are less obvious factors and needs to consider, for example:

  • Brand Image – Is the location consistent with the image you want to maintain?
  • Competition – Are the businesses around you complementary or competing?
  • Local Labor Market – Does the area have potential employees? What will their commute be like?
  • Plan for Future Growth – If you anticipate further growth, look for a building that has extra space should you need it.
  • Proximity to Suppliers – They need to be able to find you easily as well.
  • Safety – Consider the crime rate. Will employees feel safe alone in the building or walking to their vehicles?
  • Zoning Regulations – These determine whether you can conduct your type of business in certain properties or locations. You can find out how property is zoned by contacting your local planning agency.

Evaluate Your Finances
Besides determining what you can afford, you will need to be aware of other financial considerations:

  • Hidden Costs – Very few spaces are business ready. Include costs like renovation, decorating, IT system upgrades, and so on.
  • Taxes – What are the income and sales tax rates for your state? What about property taxes? Could you pay less in taxes by locating your business across a nearby state line?
  • Minimum Wage – While the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, many states have a higher minimum. View the Department of Labor's list of minimum wage rates by state.
  • Government Economic Incentives – Your business location can determine whether you qualify for government economic business programs, such as state-specific small business loans and other financial incentives.

Is the Area Business Friendly?
Understanding laws and regulations imposed on businesses in a particular location is essential. As you look to grow your business, it can be advantageous to work with a small business specialist or counselor. Check what programs and support your state government and local community offer to small businesses. Many states offer online tools to help small business owners start up and succeed. Local community resources such as SBA Offices, Small Business Development Centers, Women's Business Centers, and other government-funded programs specifically support small businesses.

Chef Jimmys

The Bottom Line
Do your research. Talk to other business owners and potential co-tenants. Consult the small business community and utilize available resources, such as free government-provided demographic data, to help in your efforts.

Upcoming Events

DIA Commerce Hub Business Education and Support Training Presents:

Provenzano Resources Kiosk/Retail Merchandise Unit Business Opportunities at DIA
August 8, 2014
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: DIA City Conference Room, Terminal West Atrium, Level 6

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

DIA Concessions "Request for Proposal" and Financial Capacity Discussion
August 22, 2014
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: DIA City Conference Room, Terminal West Atrium, Level 6

Please visit the DIA Commerce Hub webpage for the forthcoming registration link.   

The Concessions "Request for Proposal" and Financial Capacity Discussion registration link will not be created and posted until next week.

DIA Commerce Hub Contractor Conversations
August 28, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Location: World Port Conference Room H
24735 E. 75th Ave., Denver

Save The Date—"DIA Day Business Outreach Event"
October 7, 2014, 8 a.m.
Renaissance Denver Hotel
More information to come

Contact & Office Location

DIA Commerce Hub
Jeppesen Terminal, Level 6, West
Open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(303) 342-2351
E-mail: DIACommerceHub@flydenver.com

Commerce Hub


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

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