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Purchasing Compliance With Small Business First

This page provides instructions on how to process purchases from $10K to $250K, subject to the UC Small Business First program.

UC is committed to supporting small businesses, which have been especially impacted by the pandemic. As part of that commitment, in June 2021 the UC Regents adopted the Small Business First program, which requires the use of a certified Small Business or Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise for most single-purchase transactions from $10K to $250K.  It is important to carefully review and follow the instructions outlined on this page. Failure to do so can result in significant delays to the approval of your purchasing request and issuance of a Purchase Order to the supplier.  Questions should be directed to the UC Davis Small Business Program.

The PowerPoint and Recording of the Small Business First Webinar is now available!

Before You Start, Review Exemptions

Checking exemptions first ensures that you are not completing any unnecessary work, and your purchasing process goes as efficiently as possible.  The exemptions to the Small Business First program are:

  • Federally-funded purchases
  • Strategically sourced agreements
  • Construction (Orders processed through Design & Construction Management) 
  • Concessions
  • Interagency agreements
  • Local/federal government agreements
  • Higher education institution agreement
  • Research sub-awards
  • Medical and patient care
  • Revenue/reimbursement agreements

Exemptions include University Agreement and AggieBuy Purchases

If you are purchasing from AggieBuy or against a strategically sourced agreement (systemwide and local) in the Kuali Financial System (KFS), the Small Business First program policies do not apply. 

Enter Exemption Reason

If the purchase is exempt and you are not using AggieBuy or citing an existing purchasing agreement, add a note to your Kuali Financial System (KFS) Requisition or Purchase Agreement document in the Notes and Attachments section identifying why the purchase is not subject to the Small Business First program, such as:

  • "Not subject to Small Business First program, as federal funds are being used for this purchase."
  • "These items will be used by patients/patient care in a medical setting and therefore this purchase is not subject to Small Business First program."

Exemptions Don't Apply? Complete KFS Document and Additional Required Documentation

If none of the exemptions apply, a KFS Requisition or Purchase Agreement is to be completed, citing a certified Small Business or Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise.  It is important that the small business is certified by either the State of California or the US Federal Government.  Supplier self-certification is not allowed.

Add Certification Documentation

In the Notes and Attachments section of the KFS document, electronically upload documentation indicating that the business is a certified Small Business (SB) or Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE).

  1. You can find certifications using: the State of California Cal-eProcure website, sam.gov, or by requesting access to supplier.io at FOA-UD-SSO-SmallBusiness@ou.ad3.ucdavis.edu. Each allows you to search by business name, certifications, commodities, etc.
  2. Once you’ve found the business, select it and print the certification or a screenshot indicating that the business is certified.
  3. Attach the printed screen certification(s) to your KFS document.

Attach Price Quote(s)

One or two price quotes from a certified Small Business or Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) are required, depending on the purchase price:

  • Between $10K and under $100K: One price quote
  • Between $100K up to $250K: Two price quotes (Requirement is two quotes from the same type of business, either an SB or DVBE. Cannot be one quote from an SB and one from a DVBE.)

The Request for Quotation form, available on the Procurement and Contracting Services forms page, must be electronically attached to the Notes and Attachments section of the KFS document.


Requesting a Waiver/Exception to Policy

If you believe that you have a legitimate business reason why your purchase cannot utilize a Small Business or DVBE business, a fully completed and signed waiver must be completed and attached to the KFS document in the Notes and Attachments section.  The waiver is available on the UC Small Business First program page, under the Small Business First Resources section. Read the waiver instructions document first to learn what might be considered an appropriate exception to policy.

The waiver will be reviewed by the UC Davis Chief Procurement Officer and either approved or disapproved.  If the waiver is disapproved, the purchase will be awarded to a certified Small Business (SB) or Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE).


Special Note on Sole Source or Emergency Orders Between $10K and 250K

Purchases between $10K and $250K that will be processed as a sole source/unique professional service request or an emergency order have their own specific procedures.  Before processing an order as a sole source/unique professional service request or emergency order, contact the Small Business Program first to discuss and confirm all required steps.


More Information

Refer to the Supporting Small and Diverse Businesses web page for more information on the benefits of utilizing these types of businesses, as well as additional ways to locate them.  In addition, Steven Kobayashi is the Small Business Program Officer for UC Davis.  He can be reached at FOA-UD-SSO-SmallBusiness@ou.ad3.ucdavis.edu or 530-754-1372.  We appreciate your support and compliance with the UC Small Business First program!