Small Business First (SB1st) Program

Taking Care of Small Business First

The University of California is taking care of business with small, local and disadvantaged businesses by putting them first in our procurement process.

small business first video graphic
(Click image to watch Small Business First video)

Faster, Easier, Empowering...

Small Business First (SB1st) calls for all non-construction contracts and procurements between $10,000 and $250,000 to be awarded to certified Small Businesses (SBs) and/or Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBEs), wherever applicable (see exempted categories below).

SB1st uses a streamlined quotation process to increase procurement opportunities for SBs and DVBEs. Our direct 'quote-to-award' ability speeds up and simplifies the procurement process and opens doors to larger opportunities.

To make an award, only one quote is required for purchases below $100,000, and only two quotes are required for purchases between $100,000 – $250,000. (Programs may vary slightly among campuses.)

Get ready to do business with UC:

  1. Get certified as an SB/DVBE by the State of California – it's easy and free, and offers multiple benefits!
  2. Register/create a supplier profile in SupplierOne – Supplier search platform that will identify you as a small/DVBE/diverse business to UC buyers
  3. Register/create a Supplier Profile in CalUsource – UC's eSourcing and public bid site allows you to participate in bid events across the UC system (to compete for contracts above $250,000)
  4. Familiarize yourself with UC's Terms & Conditions (pdf) requirements
  5. Check out UC's SB Vendor/Contractor Insurance option – only $750
  6. Visit UC's Supplier Diversity webpage to access more small & diverse business resources
  7. Subscribe to get more information about the SB1st program

Find small business opportunities:

Most small business opportunities are at the campus level!

Learn more about doing business with UC via events:

Construction site activity

UC Design & Construction Outreach Webinars for SBE/DVBEs

March - Fall 2022

UC Davis SB Supplier Expo image UC Davis Small Business Expo: general session, breakout sessions, etc.


How to Do Business with UC webinar How to Do Business with UC (pdf) 3.30.21
(Click images and links above to access webinar recordings and slide deck pdfs)

Tap into State of California resources for more opportunities:

Read more about UC's Small Business First program: UC Targets Purchasing Power with Small Business First Program.

Working together, we can help each other thrive!


*Exempted purchase/contract categories:

  • Purchases that are sole source, unique professional services, or emergency in nature
  • Purchases through existing strategically-sourced agreements
  • Federally funded purchases
  • Design and construction (governed by UC Facilities Manual and associated policies)
  • Interagency agreements
  • Federal/local government agreements
  • Research sub-awards
  • Higher education institution agreements
  • Concessions
  • Revenue/reimbursement contracts
  • Medical and patient care contracts
  • Statutorily-exempt, policy-exempt, emergency, proprietary, and/or local assistance/subvention procurements