OC Local Small Business Preference Policy

The County of Orange strongly encourages participation of Orange County based, locally owned small businesses to provide goods and services to the County. On January 1, 2020, the County’s Local Small Business Preference Policy became effective. This initiative intends to support local businesses, strengthen the local economy and further develop the County’s tax base.

The County’s ‘Orange County Local Small Business’ (OCLSB) database will receive results obtained from Department of General Services, and will reflect only firms (vendors) that meet the County’s OCLSB requirements. To compete as an OCLSB, eligible Vendors should print their OCLSB Certificate for inclusion with their bid or proposal submission.

OCLSB qualification requirements:

To qualify as an OCLSB, a business must meet both (1) and (2) requirements:

  1. Local Business requirements:
    • Maintains their principal center of operations (i.e. headquarters) within Orange County, and;
      1. Has a business address located in the County of Orange that is not a post office box,

      2. Has a valid business license or certificate of occupancy issued by the County of Orange or by an Orange County city, or other documentation acceptable to the County of Orange.
  2. Small Business requirements:
    • Must be certified as a Small Business by the State of California Department of General Services (DGS); and,
    • DGS Small Business requirements must be valid at the time of bid/proposal submittal.

OCLSB Exemptions

  • Specific State or federally funded projects where prohibited by law or regulations
  • Cooperative contracts
  • Sole Source contracts
  • Emergency as defined in the Contract Policy Manual

Obtaining the OCLSB Certification steps:

  1. Certify with DGS: Orange County firms (vendors) interested in getting certified as an OCLSB, first must apply with the State of California, Department of General Services (DGS) to become certified as a small business via the DGS website by clicking HERE.
  2. Verify with County: Once a firm becomes certified by the DGS as a small business, the firm shall access the County’s OCLSB verification portal at http://www.OCLSBverify.com/ to search for their company legal name in the OCLSB verification database.
    1. If the firm locates their legal company name in the OCLSB verification database, they have met all County’s small and local business requirements and an OCLSB Certificate will be available for printing.
    2. If a firm is certified with DGS as a small business but is unable to locate their company legal name in the County’s verification database, the firm will need to verify if it meets local business requirements.
    3. If both requirements (1-local and 2- small above) are met and the firm is unable to print an OCLSB certificate via OCLSBverify.com verification portal, the firm shall access the online Chat Desk tool located on OCLSBverify.com portal and submit an inquiry requesting assistance.

    Note: Should the firm encounter technical issues navigating through the OCLSBverify.com portal, the firm shall follow the portal instructions to request assistance. Important! The firm shall work through the OCLSBverify.com portal to resolve issues including submitting documents for verification, if applicable.

Participating in an OCLSB solicitation:

To participate to a solicitation as an OCLSB, a firm should submit the required documents with the solicitation response package (in accordance to the solicitation document instructions) as follows:

  1. OCLSB Certificate - obtained via http://www.OCLSBverify.com/
  2. OCLSB Affirmation form*
*The Affirmation form and instructions will be part of the Solicitation package (Exhibit I).

OCLSB solicitation award process:

Invitation for Bid (IFB)

  • If the lowest bidder is a non-certified business and there are any certified Orange County Local Small Businesses (OCLSB) within 5%, the lowest certified business will be given the opportunity to price match.
  • The certified OCLSB must accept the County’s offer to price match within three business days unless otherwise specified by the County.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

  • An extra 5% shall be applied to the tallied score of each certified OCLSB to obtain the final score. If the final score of any OCLSB matches the final score of a non-certified business, preference shall be given to the certified OCLSB.

Additional Information:

Click here for an informational brochure on the OC Local Small Business Preference Policy.

For questions related to the OCLSB Preference Policy, please contact the County Procurement Office via email at oclsb@ocgov.com or by calling (714) 567-7314.