CBG partners with UW SBDC Capital Access Clinic to help disadvantaged businesses

By Karen Stokes

Joe Davis, Sr., Director of Disadvantaged Business Development at CBG (Photo/Construction Business Group)

Construction Business Group’s (CBG) Disadvantaged Business Development Initiative (DBEDI) and Wisconsin Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) Access to Capital Clinic will partner to help minorities, women and other businesses historically disadvantaged to succeed in Wisconsin’s transportation construction industry.

With this newly formed partnership, we hope that the industry training provided by CBG, combined with the expertise of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center’s Capital Access Clinic to help companies raise private capital, will lead to real growth for disadvantaged transportation contractors in Wisconsin,” said CBG’s Disadvantaged. Director of Business Enterprise Development Joe Davis, Sr.

Davis says their main goal is to develop Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) to identify those that want to upgrade into construction trades, especially in the road industry.

What they do is get these companies certified as DBEs by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WISDOT) and use them with road construction contracts.

Master Class (Photo / Construction Companies Group)

The Master Class is the vehicle in which CBG will provide strategic resources to DBEs looking to enter the paving industry or build existing business capability. CBG will use its established internal expertise and external partnerships to develop industry-specific training that will be targeted to the DBE’s ability.

“The Master Class teaches them about the industry from people in the industry. Surety Bonding and Insurance is taught by M3 Insurance, when it comes to Employment Law we have ASME and Quarles and Brady” , Davis said.

“This class makes better business owners. When they understand cash flow and they understand how to negotiate with a prime contractor, that’s what makes DBEs better,” Davis said. “I’m trying to make sure we can create generational wealth.”

The DBE program sets a national goal of directing at least 10 percent of federal highway and transit funds to qualified individuals as disadvantaged small business operators.

WisDOT invests more than $1.5 billion annually in federal and state dollars for highway, airport and transit projects. These funds translate into millions of dollars in transportation-related contracts and project work for DBE companies.

“Funding for this program came from the U.S. bailout in Biden’s infrastructure bill,” Davis said.

“It’s not for the faint of heart,” Davis said. “I do individual training and I talk about the history of the market and the industry. If you enter it and understand it, you can succeed.

Current or potential disadvantaged businesses interested in becoming part of the Wisconsin transportation industry should contact CBG’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Development Initiative at 608-310-8353 or visit https://cbgwi.com/page-1/.

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