Small Business/Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise First Policy (SB/DVBE First Policy)

Statement from the California Department of General Services (DGS) Procurement Division (January 2021)

Why does the state support small and disabled veteran business enterprises?

  • There are 3.9 million small businesses in California.
  • 99.8% of California businesses are small and employ 48.8% of California's private workforce.
  • California has the highest amount of veterans of any state in the U.S. with over 1.6 million veteran residents.
  • For every $100 spent at a small business, about $68 stays in California.
  • Small businesses are the economic engine of our State's economy. Contracting and procuring goods and services from small businesses create and sustain jobs that strengthen our economy.
  • The State of California procures billions of dollars' worth of goods and services each year and can leverage spending power to achieve policy goals that help the people of California such as the SB/DVBE First Policy.

What is the SB/DVBE First Policy?

  • A policy that your department can implement to utilize the SB/DVBE Option whenever possible for contracts between $5,000.01 and $249,999.99 for Goods, Services and IT Goods Services, or contracts under $333,000 for Public Works.
  • Enables you to use a simplified procurement method that creates less work for everyone involved and enables your department to purchase goods and services more quickly and efficiently.

Benefits of Adopting the SB/DBVE First Policy:

  • The SB/DVBE First Policy is the best way to ensure that your department meets or exceeds the minimum 25% SB and the 3% DVBE participation goals. 
  • Adopting the policy enables you to grow your network of businesses that are interested in contracting with your department more effectively.
  • Executing and implementing a SB/DVBE First Policy provides support and direction from top management to ensure your department meets and exceeds SB/DVBE goals, as part of the department's procurement objectives.
  • The SB/DVBE First Policy provides clear guidelines with regards to when and how department buyers should purchase from SB and DVBEs.

How to Adopt the SB/DVBE First Policy:

There is no specific process for adopting the first policy. The most common method is to issue a policy memo from the department director. To view examples of existing SB/DVBE First Policies, go to

Email questions to

NOTES: Most statistics were acquired from the U.S. Small Business Administration 2018 Small Business Profile:

View California DGS SB/DVBE First Policy PDF version here.