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David Pendered

Airport concessions: GDOT rules that four firms retain DBE status, which helped them win contracts

By David Pendered

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The four companies at risk of losing their concessions contracts at Atlanta’s airport will not lose an important certification that helped them win their contracts.

The Georgia Department of Transportation determined the companies will not be decertified as disadvantaged business enterprises, GDOT spokesperson Jill Goldberg said Thursday.

The Federal Aviation Administration had ordered GDOT to review the certifications, contending the companies did not deserve the federal preference. The FAA was notified of GDOT’s decision Thursday afternoon.

The four companies are:

  • Mack II
  • Atlanta Restaurant Partners, LLC
  • Hojeij Branded Foods, Inc.
  • Vida Concessions, Inc.

Federal authorities contend the companies did not qualify as DBEs.

The certification helped the companies win concessions contracts because of the extra credit the companies earned through the classification.

Food and drink is a lucrative business at the world’s busiest passenger airport because passengers have little to do but eat and drink between flights.


David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.



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