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DVBE Participation

Small Business Program

California State University, San Bernardino supports Small Business Legislation which provides for small business preference where responsibility and quality are equal. The goal of the program is to reach out to the small business community and give responsive and responsible suppliers a fair and equal opportunity to compete for campus business. To achieve this goal all State of California registered small businesses are granted a 5% bid preference when California Department of General Services (DGS) certification is submitted with bids.

The first step in helping Small Business Enterprises (SBE) with business opportunities in working with the CSU, is to register with DGS and then create and a supplier account on the Financial Information System for California (FI$CAL).  California Department of General Services

FI$CAL: Interested Suppliers may register for access to Fi$cal through the Cal eProcure homepage:

CSUBuy: Interested Suppliers may also search posted bid opportunities for CSU, including CSUSB at

In addition, we also recommend that as a small or disadvantaged business be sure to register with the State of California as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE). Without this DGS certification, we cannot provide the opportunities outlined below according to CSU Policy. The CSU Contracts and Procurement Policy allows for a reduction in competition when requesting SBE bids.  

Below are the CSU Policy guidelines our office follows in seeking business opportunities with all Small Business owners.

Ethnicity, Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation Business Enterprises

CSU awarding departments are prohibited from using the data compiled under this policy to discriminate or provide a preference in the awarding of any contracts. Contractors are prohibited from using the information compiled under this policy to discriminate or provide a preference in the solicitation or acceptance of bids for subcontracting, or for materials or equipment, on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, or ancestry.

Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Goal

The CSU supports the spirit of the Legislature's declaration as set forth in the Small Business Procurement and Contracts Act (G.C. 14835 et seq.) and supports the goals established by the Office of Small Business and DVBE Services (OSDS), to the extent of participation of small businesses, including micro-businesses, in the provision of goods, information technology, and services to the state, and in the construction of state facilities.

To provide small businesses an opportunity to request preference, the Small Business Preference Form or an equivalent advisory statement shall be included in all CSU bid solicitations for the procurement of goods and for service agreements. Certified Small Businesses are required to provide evidence of certification by OSDS by referencing OSDS certification number. This is required from bidders in order for a bid preference to be granted.

SBE Bid Preference Example:

  • Bidder A Certified SBE responds with a $100,000 bid.
  • Bidder B Non-Certified Supplier responds with a $96,000 bid.
  • Bidder A is a certified small business, granted a 5% bid preference, wins the award, and is paid $100,000 for the project.

SBE Option:

A campus may award a contract for the acquisition of goods, services or information technology that has an estimated value of less than $250,000, through an informal bid process without advertising, to a certified small business enterprise, as long as the campus obtains price quotations from two or more certified small business enterprises as referenced in Government Code Section 14838.5.

DVBE Option:

The DVBE Incentive is required as part of the standard DVBE solicitation language unless waived. Bidders may receive an incentive for exceeding the 3% participation requirement. Campuses have the ability to determine the level of DVBE incentive they will offer for corresponding levels of participation, i.e., the more DVBE participation they propose, the higher the incentive. This information must be included in the solicitation. The minimum incentive level a qualifying bidder can receive is 1%. The combination of all preferences (i.e., TACPA, SB, Recycled Products) with a DVBE incentive cannot exceed 10% or $100,000, whichever is less. A non-small business cannot displace a California certified small business from the top-ranked position because of application of the above preferences or DVBE incentive.

The DVBE incentive is a method that provides an advantage to certain bidders. The incentive is applied during the evaluation process for bids proposing participation of California certified DVBEs. The application of an incentive varies from that of a preference both in when it is incorporated into competitive solicitations and how incentive percentages are determined and calculated. Unlike preferences in which the inclusion is standardized in competitive solicitations and a standard percentage is stipulated, discretion is left to campuses to determine incentive percentages for a particular transaction based upon a business strategy to achieve their overall annual goal.

*DVBE = Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise