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  District 11 Small Business Outreach

Small Business Outreach


According to the Small Business Administration there are over 23 million small businesses in America. Small businesses face many hurdles, one of which may simply be receiving the proper information. The goal of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 11 Small Business Unit is to educate small businesses on certifications and opportunities.

Caltrans is an agency that receives both federal and state funds and therefore has a goal to spend a portion of those funds utilizing certified disadvantaged, small and disabled veteran businesses. On federally funded projects there is typically a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal. If your small business qualifies, the DBE certification is available through the Caltrans Office of Business and Economic Opportunity.

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    Some of the qualifications are:

    • At least 51% ownership by a socially or economically disadvantaged individual(s);
    • Gross receipts averaging $23.98 million or less annually for the prior 3 years;
    • Owner’s personal net worth must be less than $1.32 million (excluding primary residence).

    If you are interested in obtaining your DBE certification, you can download the application on the Caltrans Office of Business and Economic Opportunity website at

    On state funded contracts there is typically a Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) goal. Qualifications for the DVBE certification include:

    • At least 51% ownership by U.S. military veterans;
    • The veteran’s service-connected disability must be rated at least 10% or higher;
    • Disabled veteran must be domiciled in California;
    • Daily business operations are managed and controlled by the disabled veteran(s).

    When purchasing commodities state agencies strive to use either certified DVBE’s or Small Businesses (SB). Qualifications for the Small Business certification include:

    • Gross receipts averaging $14 million or less annually in the prior 3 years (OR, a manufacturer with 100 or less employees);
    • Independently owned and operated;
    • Principal office is located in California and owners are domiciled in California;
    • Not dominant in its field of operations.

    The DVBE and SB certifications are issued through the California Department of General Services. If you are interested in learning more about this certification, please go to the California Department of General Services certification website at

    Caltrans District 11, which covers both San Diego and Imperial counties, has a dedicated Small Business Unit which attends several public outreach events each month. This provides an opportunity for the Small Business Liaisons to meet with small business representatives and provide information on various certifications that are available to them, as well as information on where bidding opportunities are posted.

    To increase networking opportunities for small businesses each March District 11 hosts a Procurement and Resource Fair. Caltrans District 11 just celebrated their 10th Annual Fair with over 700 participants. This event provided small business an opportunity to meet directly with over 30 public agencies and their individual representatives, prime contractors, insurance, bonding and banking individuals. District 11 Director, Ms. Laurie Berman stated “This Resource and Procurement Fair has arguably done more during the past decade to promote small business and local buying than any other event in our region.”

    The products or services your small business provides may not be a good fit for the transportation industry, however, there are other public agencies that receive both Federal and State funds and your small business may be a good fit for one of those agencies. We look forward to the opportunity to meet with you and provide guidance. If you need assistance please contact the Caltrans District 11 Small Business Unit at the numbers below.

Small Business Contacts and Mailing Address

Cheri Gouthier
Small Business Liaison
Phone: (619) 220-7343
Fax: (619) 220-7379
Jenny Cordova-Cardenas
Small Business Liaison
Phone: (619) 688-3151

District 11 Small Business
4050 Taylor Street, MS 253
San Diego, CA 92110

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