Skip Navigation

Small Business Resources

The Center by Lendistry

The Center for Strategic Economic Studies and Institutional Development, Inc. is a non-profit corporation (Section 501(3)) whose mission is to help small businesses reach their dreams by listening to their needs, providing education and innovative solutions, and creating a vibrant business community based on collaboration and synergy.


Lendistry is a minority-owned and technology-enabled small business and commercial real estate lender. Certified by the United States Department of Treasury as a CDFI and a Community Development Entity, and a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Lendistry can secure key sources of long-term and low-cost capital such as the New Markets Tax Credit, CDFI Bond Fund, and loan guarantees.

Disadvantaged Business Bonding Assistance

Metrolink recognizes that a firm’s ability to obtain performance and payment bonds can pose a significant barrier to their ability to win public sector contracts and for those firms that are able to obtain bonds, being able to bond adequately may also often pose a barrier to working on public contracts.

The Caltrans/SBA Bonding Assistance Initiative is valuable resource available to you. This initiative offers a technical assistance surety bond guarantee program to promote increased small business participation in Caltrans, State highway and transit projects.

This initiative provides a viable means to advance the unimpeded participation of all willing, ready, and able construction contractors and subcontractors, professional architectural and engineering firms, suppliers and truckers, without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, or physical disability to participate in the State’s Contracting Program.

SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program helps eligible small businesses obtain bid, performance and payment bonds by guaranteeing surety companies between 70% and 90% of the bond amount.

SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program contains two components: Prior Approval Program and Preferred Program. For more information, please visit their website.

You may also contact or visit your nearest SBA office listed below:

     Los Angeles District Office

        330 North Brand, Suite 1200

        Suite 700

        Glendale, CA 91203

        Phone: (818) 552-3215

     Santa Ana District Office

        200 W. Santa Ana Blvd.

        Suite 700

        Santa Ana, CA 92701

        Phone: (714) 550-7420


Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Supportive Services (DBE/SS)

Caltrans has developed a DBE Supportive Services program with the primary purpose providing training, assistance, and services to certified DBEs. The goal is to increase their activity in the program and facilitate the firms' development into viable, self-sufficient organizations capable of competing for, and performing on Federally-assisted projects. To access your regions supportive services, click here.

California Unified Certification Program

To obtain information about the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP), please visit the following websites: 


The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is dedicated to increasing the participation of Small Business, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise firms in both Federal and State contracting and procurement. To access their multitude of resources, click here.

On The Job Training Supportive Services (OJT/SS)

Caltrans’ OJT/SS Program provides pre-apprenticeship training to increase the participation of women, minorities, and other disadvantaged individuals in skilled and semi-skilled crafts on federal-assisted contracts.  Any Disadvantaged Business Enterprise can contact the regional provider for their district to receive DBE Supportive Services. To find your regional provider please click here.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

To develop and improve immediate and long-term business management, record keeping, and financial and accounting capability, the Metrolink encourages DBEs and other small businesses to visit the Small Business Administration’s resources webpage, specifically tailored to be responsive to small business needs.

The Southwest Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC)

The Southwest SBTRC serves the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada. It is their mission to grow and empower small business concerns throughout the region through Access, Education, and Opportunity. Through its programs and services, Southwest SBTRC provides local businesses with the resources and tools necessary for success and connects them to opportunities to grow their business.

The Southwest SBTRC provides an array of technical assistance to build the capacity of small and disadvantaged businesses that include:

  • Business Analyses

  • Market Research and Procurement Assistance

  • General Management & Technical Assistance

  • Business Counseling & Coaching

  • Regional Planning Committees

  • Liaison between Prime Contractors and Sub-Contractors

  • Outreach/Conference Participation

  • Capital Access and Surety Bond Assistance

  • Women & Girls In Transportation Initiative (WITI)

To access more information, please visit Southwest SBTRC’s website.

Other Useful Resources

  • PDF DownloadClick here to view Metrolink's DBE Program Manual
  • PDF DownloadClick here to view the race-conscious approval letter received from the FTA
  • Click here for more information about NAICS codes
  • Click here if you are not DBE certified but believe that you may be eligible, to download an application form and obtain information regarding where to send your DBE application
  • PDF DownloadClick here  for step-by-step instructions for navigating through the CUCP online DBE directory and conducting a DBE query
  • Click here if you are a prime bidder/proposer seeking CUCP-certified DBEs for Metrolink teaming opportunities, to access the CUCP online DBE directory