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Small Business Outreach Program

Are you a small business owner looking to contract with Caltrans? You’ve come to the right place!

The goal of the Small Business Outreach Program is to educate and provide resources to Small Businesses (SB), Disadvantaged Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE), and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE). We’ll assist you in getting certified and accessing the opportunities that are right for your business. Your success is important to us, because when you participate, you help Caltrans increase economic opportunities and meet our small business utilization targets (25% SB, 5% DVBE, 12.5% DBE).


What's New

Here’s how to get started:

Is your business eligible? Find out if your business meets the criteria.

See certification criteria for for DBEs here.
See certification criteria for SBs and DVBEs here.

Learn about benefits. Qualify for bid preference, Prompt Payment Act benefits and more.

Certification benefits for DBEs:
  • Certification is recognized by 800 local agencies in California, other states and private companies.   
  • Expands opportunities to participate on federally funded contracts.
  • Become accessible to prime contractors needing to fulfill DBE participation goal requirements
  • Increases opportunities to network at events such as procurement fairs and pre-bids.
  • Listings in official directories such as the CUCP database.

More information is here.

Certification criteria for SBs and DVBEs:
  • A five percent (5%) bid preference on applicable State solicitations.
  • Eligibility for the State's Small Business Participation Program, which sets goals for the use of SB and DBVEs in State contracting.
  • Under the Prompt Payment Act, the State must pay a certified SB/DVBE higher interest penalties for late payment of an undisputed invoice. 
  • State agencies may use a streamlined process, known as the SB/DVBE Option, by contracting directly with a California certified small business/microbusiness for goods, services, information technology and Public Works projects up to certain threshold. 

 More information is here.

Get certified. Everything you need to apply is available online.

  • To get certified as a DBE: Go to the DBE page and click on Become DBE Certified. There’s a helpful explanation of the process here (PDF). 
  • For additional assistance with DBE certification, take advantage of the DBE Supportive Services Program.
  • To get certified as a SB or DVBE: Go to caleprocure.ca.gov and click on the middle icon (a check mark, Small Business/Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise), then click the "Click Here to Get Certified" button on the left side of the page.
  • There’s a helpful explanation of the process here.(PDF)

Get connected. Register for electronic bidding, procurement opportunities, and mentoring.

  • Create a Bidding Connect account. This allows you participate in bidding and information sharing. Both primes and subs utilize these accounts to make connections.
  • Register with Cal eProcure. This system provides bidding and contracting resources.
  • Apply for Calmentor. Calmentor is program created from a partnership between Caltrans and the private consulting industry to promote and increase the participation of small businesses on Caltrans professional architectural and engineering (A&E) contracts.

Access opportunities. Find contracts that are a good fit for your business.

  • Contracts greater than $314,000: Projects are listed here. Although many of these project are very large, primes frequently seek small businesses to take on a portion of the project. You can connect with them through Bidding Connect.
  • Contracts less than $314,000: Cal eProcure provides bidding opportunities for information technology (IT) and non-IT commodities, service contracts, architectural and engineering (A&E) contracts, minor public works contracts, the CAL-Card Administration and Compliance Program, warehousing and material operations, publications, property control, and compliance reporting.
  • Upcoming contracts: Check the 12-month look-ahead here to see what’s coming up in the next year. Click the Advertisement tab and select 12-Month Advertising Schedule.

Contact us. Have questions? We’re here to help.

Have questions? Contact Kelly Markham, District 7’s Small Business Liaison, at kelly.markham@dot.ca.gov or 213.897.0891.

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