Each year, the state of California sets goals to procure services from Small and Micro Businesses (SB) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE). This year, the Department of FISCal (FI$Cal) procurement team exceeded the state goals in both areas, ensuring that more SB and DVBEs are included in the state procurement process.

By working to include SB/DVBEs in this process, the state is prioritizing an equitable environment that includes groups who may be underrepresented or traditionally overlooked during the process. According to the Department of General Services (DGS), the participation goals were created to, “enhance and encourage competition by creating an optimal environment that affords all businesses equal access to state procurement and contracting opportunities.”

Antonette Ramirez, procurement section chief, credits her team with exceeding the state goals. In particular, Ramirez credits FI$Cal’s SB/DVBE Advocate, Norma Miranda for supporting FI$Cal’s goals, “Norma does an awesome job attending DGS SB/DVBE Advocate meetings, relaying SB/DVBE contact information to all the buyers, running midyear SB/DVBE reports to see how FI$Cal is doing, and pumping up the team to keep active in soliciting to SB and DVBEs.”

The SB DVBE Advocate’s role includes identifying potential SB/DVBE contractors or subcontractors and potential contracting opportunities; making information about solicitations available to, and consider offers from, certified SB and DVBE firms; and ensuring payments due on purchase documents with SB suppliers are made promptly.

According to the Small Business Transportation Resource Center, 99.8% of California businesses are small, making up 48.8% of California’s private workforce. Furthermore, for every $100 spent at a small business, about $68 stays in California. According to the California Department of Veterans Affairs, the SB/DVBE program promotes self-reliance for California’s disabled veterans and offers veterans the opportunity to gain experience in business, while sharing their expertise with Californians.

By leveraging its resources towards these groups, FI$Cal is able to work towards its goal of supporting California state departments, while also supporting an equitable economic agenda.

The statewide goal for SB participation is 25% and 3% for DVBEs. For the latest reporting period, FY 2020/21, FI$Cal reported 27% of their contracting dollars to SBs and 6.97% to DVBEs.