Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

DBE Program Manual and Goal(s)

Welcome to the City of Irvine’s (hereinafter referred to as “City”) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small Business Program site. This site has been developed with the objective of providing assistance and outreach to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) and Small Businesses that want to work on the City’s contracts.

The City receives Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) federal-aid from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and as a condition of receiving such assistance has committed to comply with Caltrans’ DBE Program Manual in accordance with federal regulations published under Title 49 CFR, Part 26, Caltrans Local Assistance Procedures Manual (LAPM) and subsequent Guidance. In accordance with these regulations it is the City’s policy is to ensure that minority-owned, women-owned, and other disadvantaged small businesses can fairly compete for and perform on contracts and subcontracts financed in whole, or in part with DOT funds.

The City will apply DBE project goals on a contract-by-contract basis, the DBE goal will be published in the "Notice Inviting Bids" for each Federally-funded project. To be eligible to count towards the DBE goal, DBE firms must be certified with the State of California Unified Certification Program (CUCP) at the time of bid/proposal submission.

DBE Video - Vietnamese
DBE Video - Chinese (Traditional)
DBE Video - Spanish
DBE Video - Korean
DBE Video - Japanese
DBE Video - Farsi
DBE Video - Arabic

California Unified Certification Program (CUCP)

Learn more about how to become a DBE certified firm with the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP), including criteria which must be satisfied. This website will assist you with the DBE certification process:

Along with DBEs serving as the prime contractor for City contracts, the City strongly encourages the use of DBE certified subcontractors/subconsultants. To assist prime’s in their search for DBE certified firms, the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP) database directory can be found here:


City of Irvine Contractor Registration

The City encourages DBE and other small businesses to develop their capability to utilize emerging technology and conduct business through electronic media. The City will post all U.S. DOT-assisted procurements through the City’s BidsOnline system (PlanetBids) to ensure an open, fair and competitive selection process.

Please register your firm on the City’s BidsOnline system, so that you will receive automated email notices whenever a new Invitation for Bids, or Request for Proposals, is posted.

To register your firm, please follow these instructions:

Visit the City of Irvine website, Purchasing page or you may register your firm or check for current bidding opportunities by clicking here.

  • Click on the “New Vendor Registration” button
  • Complete the electronic supplier registration process including selecting category code(s) describing the goods and/or services you provide
    • Include your DBE certification number so that you will be notified of any future special DBE outreach programs
    • If you possess a State Contractors License, make sure you include your classification type
  • To check for current bidding opportunities, click on the “Bid Opportunities” button

Once you have completed the registration, you will receive automated email notices whenever we post a new bidding opportunity that matches the criteria you selected when registering.


Office of Business & Economic Opportunity (OBEO)

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Office of Business & Economic Opportunity (OBEO) is dedicated to increasing the participation of Small Business (SB), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) firms in both Federal and State contracting and procurement. To access their multitude of resources, click here: http://dot.ca.gov/obeo/.


Caltrans has developed a DBE Supportive Services program with the primary purpose providing training, assistance, and services to certified DBEs. The goal is to increase their activity in the program and facilitate the firms' development into viable, self-sufficient organizations capable of competing for, and performing on Federally- assisted highway projects. To access your regions supportive services, click here:http://www.dot.ca.gov/obeo/docs/South.pdf


Caltrans’ OJT/SS Program provides pre-apprenticeship training to increase the participation of women, minorities, and other disadvantaged individuals in skilled and semi-skilled crafts on federal-aid highway construction contracts.  Any Disadvantaged Business Enterprise can contact the regional provider for their district to receive DBE Supportive Services. To find your regional provider please click here: http://www.dot.ca.gov/obeo/SupportiveServices.html

Small Business Administration (SBA)

To develop and improve immediate and long-term business management, record keeping, and financial and accounting capability, the City encourages DBEs and other small businesses to visit the Small Business Administration’s resources page, specifically tailored to be responsive to small business needs: www.sba.gov/contracting/resources-small-businesses

The Southwest Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC)

The Southwest SBTRC serves the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada. It is their mission to grow and empower small business concerns throughout the region through Access, Education, and Opportunity. Through its programs and services it provides local businesses with the resources and tools necessary for success and connects them to opportunities to grow their business.

The Southwest SBTRC provides an array of technical assistance to build the capacity of small and disadvantaged businesses that include:

  •     Business Analyses
  •     Market Research and Procurement Assistance
  •     General Management & Technical Assistance
  •     Business Counseling & Coaching
  •     Regional Planning Committees
  •     Liaison between Prime Contractors and Sub-Contractors
  •     Outreach/Conference Participation
  •     Capital Access and Surety Bond Assistance
  •     Women & Girls In Transportation Initiative (WITI)

To access more information, please visit their website at: https://www.transportation.gov/osdbu/sw-region-sbtrc

Disadvantaged Business Bonding Assistance

The City is committed to the growth of Disadvantaged Businesses within the City’s market area and regularly communicates with its subcontracting community to identify possible barriers to the growth and success of Disadvantaged Businesses. The City recognizes that a firm’s ability to obtain performance and payment bonds can pose a significant barrier to their ability to win public sector contracts and for those firms that are able to obtain bonds, being able to bond adequately may also often pose a barrier to working on public contracts.

The Caltrans/SBA Bonding Assistance Initiative is valuable resource available to you. This initiative offers a technical assistance surety bond guarantee program to promote increased small business participation in Caltrans, State highway and transit projects.

This initiative provides a viable means to advance the unimpeded participation of all willing, ready, and able construction contractors and subcontractors, professional architectural and engineering firms, suppliers and truckers, without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, or physical disability to participate in the State’s Contracting Program.

SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program helps eligible small businesses obtain bid, performance and payment bonds by guaranteeing surety companies between 70% and 90% of the bond amount.

SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program contains two components: Prior Approval Program and Preferred Program. For more information, please visit their Web site at www.SBA.gov

You may also contact or visit your nearest SBA office listed below:

Santa Ana District Office

200 W. Santa Ana Blvd.
Suite 700
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 550-7420

Los Angeles District Office

330 North Brand, Suite 1200
Suite 700
Glendale, CA 91203
Phone: (818) 552-3215

For more information about the City of Irvine’s DBE Program, please contact the Purchasing Division via email at purchasing@cityofirvine.org