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(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law requiring a local agency to award contracts to the lowest responsible bidder, any local agency may do any of the following in facilitating contract awards to small businesses:

(1) Provide for a small business preference in construction, the procurement of goods, or the delivery of services where responsibility and quality are equal. The preference to a small business shall be up to 5 percent of the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications.

(2) Establish a subcontracting participation goal for small businesses on contracts and grant a preference, up to a maximum of 5 percent, to those bidders who meet the goal.

(3) Require bidders to make good faith efforts to meet a subcontracting participation goal for small business contracts. Bidders that fail to meet the goal shall demonstrate that they made good faith efforts to utilize small business contractors.

(4) Set additional guidelines for local preference purposes.

(b) The term "small business," as used in this section, shall be defined by each local agency.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), "small business" shall include a small business enterprise certified pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 14835) of Chapter 6.5 of Part 5.5 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 114, Sec. 2.)