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Small Local Business Enterprises Program

The Santa Clara Valley Water District works closely with small and local businesses to help accomplish our mission to provide Silicon Valley safe, clean water for a healthy life, environment, and economy. The district purchases approximately $40 million a year in goods and services, and actively encourages small and local businesses to participate in these opportunities.

The district actively promotes small businesses in the County. As a method to encourage small business participation in the district’s business opportunities, the district offers a preference during bid and proposal evaluation to certified small businesses. To equalize competitive disadvantages some local businesses face and encourage businesses to establish and remain in the county, the district’s Board of Directors has adopted a local business preference policy. This policy includes provisions which grant preferences to local businesses during the evaluation of bids and proposals.

Small Business Enterprise Program

The district provides up to 5 percent rating preference to small and micro businesses during the evaluation of bids and proposals. To be eligible for this preference, a business must be certified as a Small or Micro Business by the California Department of General Services (DGS).

The district uses California Department of General Services definitions which are summarized below:

  • Small Business: 100 or fewer employees and average annual gross receipts of $14 million or less over the previous three years
  • Micro Business: 25 or fewer employees and average annual gross receipts of $3.5 million or less over the previous three years

Visit the DGS website (www.dgs.ca.gov) for information about certification and more detailed definitions.

During bid or proposal evaluation, the priority for applying the preference is:

  • Highest ranked micro business
  • Highest ranked small business
  • Non-small business subcontracting with the highest percent of micro businesses in highest ranked order
  • Non-small business, subcontracting with the highest percent of small businesses in highest ranked order

The preference credits for prime contractors or consultants who are NOT certified small/micro businesses, but who meet the RFP's subcontracting goals are:

  • 3% for a minimum 30% participation of subcontractor(s)
  • 4% for a minimum 40% participation of subcontractor(s)
  • 5% for a minimum 50% participation of subcontractor(s)

Federally funded projects at the district are governed by the regulations, standards, and criteria set forth by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Title 13 Code of Federal Regulations governs the SBA. Please visit SBA's website located at www.sba.gov for further information

Local Business Enterprise Program

During the evaluation of bids and proposals, the district will grant a five percent (5%) or five (5) point preference to bidders who are registered with the district as a Local Business.

“Local business” means a business enterprise, including but not limited to a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, which has a legitimate business presence in the County of Santa Clara as evidenced by:

a. Having a current business tax certificate from a city within the County of Santa Clara (not required for local businesses in unincorporated areas of the County of Santa Clara); and

b. Having either of the following types of offices operating legally within the County of Santa Clara:

i. A principal business office; or

ii. A regional, branch or satellite office with at least one full-time employee located in the County of Santa Clara.

c. Post Office box numbers, residential addresses, a local sales office without any support or a local subcontractor hired by the contractor may not be used as the sole basis for establishing status as a Local Business Enterprise

To qualify as a Local Business with the district, businesses must:

  1. Self-register on the district’s Contract Administration System website.
    If you need assistance registering your business please contact 408-265-2607, ext. 2992
  2. Submit a Local Business Declaration Form.
    Please mail the completed and signed form to:

Santa Clara Valley Water District
5750 Almaden Expressway
San Jose, CA 95118-3686

Attn: Purchasing and Contracts Unit

Additional Information

The district's Small and Local Business Enterprises Guide provides further information on the Small and Local Business Enterprise Program. The Guide to Doing Business with the District provides information about the District's procurement methods, policies, and procedures

Contact Information

The district's main telephone number is 408-265-2607. Please use the extension numbers below to contact staff.

  • Additional Purchasing Unit contact information for individual staff is available here

Goods, Services (general), and Public Works construction (less than $25,000) 

ext. 2888

Consulting Services(professional and non-professional) 

ext. 2992

Public Works Construction (above $25,000) 

ext. 3088