Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

The Fiscal Section of Public Works is responsible for administering the Department's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. A Disadvantaged Business Enterprise is a small business owned by a woman or by a specified ethnic group, which has been properly certified by Caltrans. The program applies to all federally-funded transportation projects administered by Public Works.


On May 5, 2009, as required by Caltrans, the City Council adopted a new "race conscious" Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program. A primary feature of the new program is the requirement that a specific "Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise" goal be developed for each federally-funded transportation contract administered by the City. To be considered "Underutilized," a firm must qualify as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and be owned by one of the following groups:


  • African American
  • Asian Pacific American
  • Native American
  • Women


Properly certified small business firms owned by Hispanic males or by Asian Subcontinent males continue to qualify as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, but not as Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. Such firms do not count towards achieving the Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise contract-specific goals.


Project goals are established by examining the breakdown of the type of work to be done, and the availability of certified Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms in our local area to perform that type of work. The goal for a particular project is made known to all firms interested on bidding on a particular federally-funded contract. Firms must either meet the goal, or demonstrate that they made "good faith efforts" to do so. Public Works takes this responsibility very seriously, and contracts have been awarded to the second lowest bidder where the lowest bidder failed to meet Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program requirements.



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This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 3/21/2012