Orange County Local Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Preference Policies

The County of Orange strongly encourages participation of Orange County based, locally owned small businesses to provide goods and services to the County. On January 1, 2020, the County’s Local Small Business (OCLSB) Preference Policy became effective. This initiative intends to support local businesses, strengthen the local economy and further develop the County’s tax base. On January 1, 2021, the County’s new Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Preference Policy will go into effect. This policy was created in order to recognize the service and sacrifice given by the men and women of our Armed Forces.

The OCLSB database will receive results obtained from Department of General Services and will reflect only vendors that meet the County’s OCLSB requirements. To compete as an OCLSB, eligible vendors will print their OCLSB Certificate for inclusion with their bid or proposal submission. To compete as a DVBE, eligible vendors will print their DVBE Certificate from California Department of General Services (DGS) for inclusion with their bid or proposal submission.

OCLSB qualification requirements:

To qualify as an OCLSB, a business must meet both (1) and (2) requirements:

  1. Local Business requirements:
    • Maintains their principal center of operations (i.e. headquarters) within Orange County, and;
      1. Has a business address located in the County of Orange that is not a post office box,

        OR
      2. Has a valid business license or certificate of occupancy issued by the County of Orange or by an Orange County city, or other documentation acceptable to the County of Orange.
  2. Small Business requirements:
    • Must be certified as a Small Business by the State of California Department of General Services (DGS); and,
    • DGS Small Business requirements must be valid at the time of bid/proposal submittal.

Steps to obtain OCLSB Certification:

  1. Certify with DGS: Orange County firms (vendors) interested in getting certified as an OCLSB, must first apply with the State of California, Department of General Services (DGS) to become certified as a small business via the DGS website by clicking HERE.
  2. Verify with County: Once a firm becomes certified by the DGS as a small business, the firm shall access the County’s OCLSB verification portal at http://www.OCLSBverify.com/to search for their company legal name in the OCLSB verification database.

    1. If the firm locates their legal company name in the OCLSB verification database, they have met all County’s small and local business requirements and an OCLSB Certificate will be available for printing.
    2. If a firm is certified with DGS as a small business but is unable to locate their company legal name in the County’s verification database, the firm will need to verify if it meets local business requirements.
    3. If both requirements (1-local and 2- small above) are met and the firm is unable to print an OCLSB certificate, the firm shall access the online Chat Desk tool located on OCLSBverify.com portal and submit an inquiry requesting assistance.

Note: Should the firm encounter technical issues navigating through or submitting documents for verification to the OCLSBverify.com portal, the firm shall follow the portal instructions to request assistance.

DVBE qualification requirements:

Must be certified as a Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) by the State of California Department of General Services (DGS)

Steps to obtain DVBE Certification:

  1. Certify with DGS: Vendors interested in getting certified as a DVBE, must first apply with the State of California, Department of General Services (DGS) to become certified as a Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise via the DGS website by clicking HERE.

Participating in an OCLSB/DVBE solicitation:

To participate in a solicitation as an OCLSB and/or DVBE, a firm should submit the required documents with the solicitation response package (in accordance to the solicitation document instructions) as follows:

  1. OCLSB
  1. DVBE
    • DVBE Certificate – obtained from California DGS
    • DVBE Affirmation form*

*The Affirmation form and instructions will be part of the Solicitation package (Exhibit I).

OCLSB/DVBE solicitation award process:

Invitation for Bid (IFB)

  • When the lowest bidder is not an OCLSB or DVBE, the sole lowest certified OCLSB or DVBE within five percent (5%) of the lowest bidder shall be given the opportunity to price match the lowest bid.
  • To participate in either preference policy, the sole lowest qualified OCLSB or DVBE must accept the County’s offer to price match within three (3) business days from the County’s offer, unless otherwise specified by the County.
  • If two or more OCLSBs or DVBEs have tied bids within the 5%, the County shall request best and final bids from each OCLSB or DVBE, which shall price match the lowest bid or better.
  • If the best and final bids are tied, the County shall determine the contract award based on the County’s best interest.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

  • An extra five percent (5%) shall be applied to the tallied score of each certified OCLSB or DVBE to obtain the final score. If the final score of any OCLSB or DVBE matches the final score of a non-OCLSB or non-DVBE, preference shall be given to the certified OCLSB or DVBE.
  • If two or more OCLSBs or DVBEs have the same final score, the County shall determine the contract award based on the County’s best interest.

Dual OCLSB and DVBE Preference

  • If a certified OCLSB is also a certified DVBE, the preference given to that business shall be 8% instead of 5%. The separate OCLSB/DVBE preferences shall not be applied.

OCLSB/DVBE Exemptions

  • Specific state or federally funded projects where prohibited by law or regulations
  • Cooperative contracts
  • Sole Source contracts
  • Emergency as defined in the Contract Policy Manual

Additional Information:

Click here for an informational brochure on the OC Local Small Business Preference Policy.

For questions related to the OCLSB and/or DVBE Preference Policy, please contact the County Procurement Office via email at cpo@ocgov.com or by calling (714) 567-7314.