The City of San Diego has designed and approved a small, local business enterprise program, effective July 2010. The program is a race- and gender-neutral program, allowable under California's restrictive Proposition 209. One of the objectives of the program is to increase the participation of small, local business enterprises (SLBEs) in City contracting and to ameliorate to the extent possible any disparities in the participation of minority business enterprises or women business enterprises on City contracts.
The program will have an overall aspirational goal for both SLBEs and the smaller Emerging Local Business Enterprises (ELBEs) and mandatory contract-by-contract SLBE/ELBE goals on certain contracts. Smaller contracts will first be open only to SLBEs and/or ELBEs, depending on the size of the contract. To be local a business has to be located within San Diego county.
A mentor-protege program is also part of the program. There are specific program elements for Public Works contracts, Consultant contracts, and Goods and Services procurement. The City's Office of Small Business will also provide outreach and technical assistance to SLBEs.