Request for Proposal (RFP) for Moving Solano Forward IIISeptember 14 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 14, 2021
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
Moving Solano Forward III
Deadline for submission of proposals:
5:00 P.M. PST
Friday, October 15, 2021
Solano Economic Development Corporation
5050 Business Center Drive, Suite 200
Fairfield, CA 94534
The Solano Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is requesting proposals from qualified Consultants (or Consultant Teams) for the Moving Solano Forward III project. For the purpose of this RFP, “Consultant” refers to proposers and respondents and does not imply any guarantee of a contractual relationship between the EDC and the Consultant. All proposals must be received by the EDC no later than 5:00 p.m. PST on October 15, 2021. Late proposals will not be considered.
Proposals must be responsive to Solano EDC’s request. The EDC shall determine the most responsive and qualified Consultant providing the best service at the most reasonable cost. Cost alone shall not be the determinative factor.
The request for proposals does not obligate the EDC to award a contract or complete the project and the EDC reserves the right to cancel the solicitation if deemed in its best interest.
Proposals submitted will be evaluated by a Selection Committee established by the EDC including members of the Economic Development Task Force, EDC staff, and other private or public organizations. During the evaluation process, the EDC reserves the right, where it may serve the organization’s best interest, to request additional information or clarification from Consultants, or to allow corrections of errors or omissions. At the request of the EDC, firms submitting proposals may be requested to make oral presentations as part of the evaluation process.
The EDC reserves the right to retain all proposals submitted and to use any ideas in a proposal regardless of whether that proposal is selected. Submission of a proposal indicates acceptance by the Consultant of the conditions contained in this request for proposals, unless clearly and specifically noted in the proposal submitted and confirmed in the contract between the EDC and the Consultant selected.
There is no expressed or implied obligation for the EDC to reimburse responding firms for any expenses incurred in preparing proposals in response to this request. The EDC reserves the right without prejudice to reject any or all proposals.
Economic Development Administration Grant
Moving Solano Forward III was approved by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) in April of 2021. The award categorized as Non-Construction, Competitive, 11.307 / Economic Adjustment Assistance Program. The project utilizes findings and directions of Moving Solano Forward I and II, (Moving Solano Forward II was completed four years ago), as a foundation for this strategy. Moving Solano Forward II Final Report and Working Papers can be found on the EDC’s website, www.solanoedc.org.
Moving Solano Forward III is a two-phased approach to responding to the economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic in the near-term and building economic resilience in the long-term. Phase 1, the short-term Triage phase includes Tasks One (1) through Three (3). The focus of these tasks is on analyzing risk, impacts and opportunities of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable industries with high rates of pandemic-induced job loss, such as leisure and hospitality; retail trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; education and health services; and other services such as manufacturing and government jobs.
Phase 2, the long-term resiliency phase includes Task Four (4) through Six (6). The focus of these tasks is the evaluation of specific opportunity sites, development of business attraction and diversification strategies, updating industry cluster analysis and building resilience to economic shocks. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a new world and business paradigm that must be addressed for the economy to operate productively and competitively.
The intent of the Project is to ultimately create jobs and investment. This Project will look to identify specific programs and projects that can be implemented on a regional or community-wide basis that leads to jobs saved, jobs regrown and new jobs created, along with new investment. Implementation of specific projects and programs is a must for this Project.
Regarding the Triage phase, the primary goal of the Project is to provide containment from job losses to the “demand-side” of the economy (Retail, Leisure & Hospitality, Educational & Health Services, and some consumer-oriented services) and to bolster targeted sectors of the economy with the EDC’s unique skillset and programs initiated by this Project. By “unique skillset” of the EDC, we mean a higher fundamental understanding of business dynamics, land use, incentive programs, workforce needs, and site selection network in R&D, industrial activities such as manufacturing/logistics, and professional services activities.
In total, Professional & Business Services, Other Services, Construction, Manufacturing, Financial Activities and Information sectors made up roughly 30 percent of total job losses, or roughly 6,000 jobs. These are the “supply-side” elements of the economy that will be the focus of our outcomes.
It is the goal of this Project and its implementation plan to save 2,000 jobs within two years of the completion of Task 3 of the Scope of Work, or the “Triage”. In addition, within three years of completion, regrow the 6,000 jobs lost during the first four months of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The second major section of the Project is focused on resiliency, and while we have a fundamental idea of the sectors that provide strength and stability to the economy, the Project will provide better definition as well as the objectives and tactics to lead us there.
From previous studies we are aware that Solano County has strengths and opportunities in industry clusters of life sciences, food/beverage, and advanced materials. Key sectors supporting those industries reside in Manufacturing and Professional & Business Services. It is our goal that we prioritize and grow these clusters and sectors as a result of the plan established by this Project, producing an expected 1,500 new manufacturing jobs and 500 new Professional & Business Services jobs within 3 years of the completion of the “Resiliency” portion of the Project. While these numbers may seem modest compared to the short-term goals, these are sectors that have seen very little growth in the past three years, but have proven to more resilient to the fall-out from Covid-19 economic impacts.
The goal of this Project is to save, grow and create 10,000 jobs within Solano County within five years. It is estimated that this would save and create an additional $600 million in investment within Solano County, as well as strengthen the local economy from future downturns.
Scope of Work
The Scope of Work for Moving Solano Forward III is as follows:
a. Undertake a comprehensive analysis of the Solano County economy and evaluate the economic impact of Covid-19 by business sector and cluster.
b. Review Moving Solano II recommendations and develop a work plan for completion of tasks still to be undertaken.
Deliverable: Economic Analysis, Written Report, Work Plan and Presentations (2)
Due Date: 2/18/22
2) Economic challenges and opportunities due to Covid-19
a. Analyze changes to businesses and workforce (working environment, space needs, reuse, and viability of certain sectors) and develop a strategy to address the negative impacts and to take advantage of the positive changes.
b. Evaluate opportunities due to workers working from home and potential for remote shared office space.
c. Develop reuse strategies for vacant commercial spaces due to a changing marketplace and Covid-19.
d. Analyze supply chain challenges and opportunities due to Covid-19 and potential on- shoring.
e. Develop specific strategies to restart key sectors identified Task 1 and potential programs, funding and organizational structures to implement strategies.
Deliverable: Written Report and Presentations (3)
Due Date: 4/15/22
3) Short-Term "Triage"
a. Evaluate current retention and expansion efforts and using "best practices" develop a business retention and expansion strategy by business sector.
b. Develop specific recommended programs to support existing businesses and develop cost estimate to implement and identify potential funding sources and organizational structures to implement.
c. Determine demand, feasibility and capacity for business financing programs as a key program to retention and expansion. This could include a county-wide revolving loan program, partnerships with local lenders, and/or community specific programs.
d. Analyze obstacles for growth in high opportunity clusters and develop specific recommendations to mitigate these obstacles.
Deliverable: Written Report/Workplan, Implementation Strategy and Presentations (2)
Due Date: 6/22/22
4) Opportunity Sites & Opportunity Zones
a. Update the countywide industrial site inventory by tiers.
b. Evaluate specific actions needs to move sites to be shovel ready by jurisdiction, including preliminary cost estimates and potential funding options.
c. Identify programs and financing options to finance new or upgrade existing infrastructure, including digital.
d. Develop specific strategies to market and attract investment and development within Opportunity Zones.
Deliverable: Written Report, Mapping, Site Data Base and Presentations (2)
Due Date: 9/16/22
5) Business & Industry Analysis
a. Evaluate and update/revise industry cluster analysis and link clusters to specific locations within County.
b. Evaluate current business attraction efforts and develop recommendations, including diversification strategies, identify high opportunity attraction and expansion potential, and develop strategies to increase competitiveness, including identifying areas that need to be addressed to be more competitive.
c. Develop a strategy to attract Direct Foreign Investment
Deliverable: Written Report, Implementation Plan and Presentations (2)
Due Date: 12/9/22
6) Long Term Resiliency Plan
a. Identify opportunities/constraints in priority development and production areas to facilitate job growth, development and expansion.
b. Develop a strategy to tie economic development, job growth, housing and transportation goals countywide.
c. Summarize economic benefits to businesses countywide and local jurisdictions from implementing the recommended strategies and linking economic development, job growth, housing and transportation goals.
Deliverable: Written Report, Workplan, and Presentations (3)
Due Date: 2/28/23
The approved budget for the entire project is $600,000, including an EDA award of $480,000, matching funds from the County, Cities, and the Solano Transportation Authority for $110,000, and in-kind funds of $10,000 from the Solano EDC.
This contract with the Consultant for the work outlined in the Scope of Work is a not to exceed amount of $407,000. EDC staff will serve as the Project Manager and provide general support and research..
Proposals will be reviewed by the Selection Committee for completeness and responsiveness. Proposals which appear to be complete and responsive will be evaluated. Proposals without sufficient data to enable a complete evaluation will be considered non-responsive.
Proposals will be evaluated based on the overall best value to the EDC based on the criteria listed below and/or otherwise reasonably considered relevant.
Proposals will initially be evaluated by EDC staff to verify the qualifications of the Consultant and the appropriateness of the proposal for meeting the Project’s needs. The Committee and the EDC reserves the right to interview any or all responding Consultants and/or to award a contract without conducting interviews.
Total cost will be taken into consideration, but the Consultant’s capabilities, competence and capacity will be considered as well. All criteria have equal importance. The EDC reserves the right to choose the overall best firm according to the criteria established. The EDC, and its designated representatives, shall be the sole judge of its own best interest, the proposal, and the resulting negotiated agreement. The EDC’s decisions will be final.
Proposal Format and Content
A. Cover Letter
1. Company name and address.
2. Provide a brief summary describing the Consultant’s ability to perform the work requested, a history of the Consultant’s background and experience providing services. This summary should be brief and concise to apprise the reader of the basic services offered, experience and qualifications of the Consultant, staff, subcontractors, and/or suppliers.
3. Letter of transmittal signed by an individual authorized to bind the Consultant, stating that the Consultant has read and will comply with all terms and conditions of the RFP.
4. General information about the primary contact who will address questions about the proposal. Include name, title, telephone number and email address of the individual.
B. Qualifications and Experience of the Firm
1. Describe Consultant’s history and experience. Include the size of the firm, location of offices, number of years in business, organizational chart, name(s) of owner(s) and principal parties, and number and titles of staff. Include background on key staff that will assigned to this Project.
2. Comment on areas that may make Consultant different from competitors.
3. Conflict of Interest Statement: The Consultant shall disclose any financial, business, or other relationship with the EDC that may have an impact upon the outcome of a fully executed contract.
4. List three (3) professional references, with contact information, for similar work undertaken by Consultant (and for each sub-consultant). Information shall include:
* Name, address and website of client
* Time period of project
* Brief description of the scope of the project
* Contact name, email address and telephone number
5. Comments on or requested Changes to Contract: The EDC’s standard contract is included as Attachment 1 to this RFP. The proposing Consultant shall identify any objections to and/or request any changes to the standard language.
C. Scope of Services and Work Plan
1. Describe the methodology for completing the requested phases of the Scope of Work. Some areas of study will be defined as the Project develops. The EDC is open to recommendations of additional areas of focus to enhance the Project. These should be specified in the response to the RFP. The response should also provide examples of specific projects or programs that may be developed as part of this Project.
D. Project Timeline and/or Pricing
1. Please describe your implementation and timeline.
2. Provide a description of the project budget, including assumptions.
3. The Consultant shall present a specific “not to exceed” fixed fee including associated fees (e.g. printing, travel, attendance at meetings, etc.) that is based on the proposed timeline. Each phase of the work should have an itemized budget.
4. Outline billing and payment expectations, including timing and method of payment.
Proposal Submittal Requirements
The intent of the RFP is to encourage responses that clearly communicate the Consultant’s understanding of the EDC’s requirements and its approach to successfully provide the services on time and within budget. Only information which is essential to an understanding and evaluation of the proposal should be submitted. Items not related to the RFP (i.e. generalized brochures, marketing materials, etc.) will not be considered in the evaluation.
A complete proposal shall be submitted in response to this RFP. Consultants may not respond to individual sections of the RFP. Incomplete responses will not be reviewed.
Proposals must fully address all the information specified in this RFP. Failure to provide the required submittals in completed form may result in a proposal being found non-responsive and therefore not considered by the EDC.
Proposals shall be submitted electronically to Pat Uhrich, Office Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Terms and Conditions
The EDC reserves the unilateral right to amend this RFP in writing at any time. The EDC also reserves the right to cancel or reissue the RFP at its sole discretion. Additionally, the EDC may seek clarification or additional information from Consultants. All Consultants shall verify if any addendum for this project has been issued by the EDC and shall respond to the final written RFP and any exhibits, attachments and amendments. It is the Consultant’s responsibility to ensure that all requirements of contract addendum are included in their submittal.
The RFP does not commit the EDC to sign an agreement, award a contract, or to pay any costs incurred in the preparation of a response to this RFP. All proposals submitted in response to this RFP become the property of the EDC. The EDC reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and the right to waive minor irregularities in any proposal. Waiver of one irregularity does not constitute waiver of any other irregularities.
Proposals will contain variations and are subject to negotiations. As such, all proposal information will remain confidential until award is complete.
Questions and Responses
Prospective Consultants may submit questions regarding this solicitation no later than 5:00 p.m. PST on October 5, 2021. Responses to the questions will be uploaded to the EDC’s website by no later than October 8, 2021. Questions should be submitted to Pat Uhrich, EDC Office Manager, at email@example.com.
Release of RFP September 14, 2021
Question Submission Deadline October 5, 2021 @ 5:00 p.m. PST
Proposal Submission Deadline October 15, 2021 @ 5:00 p.m. PST
Oral Interviews (conducted at EDC discretion) October 25, 2021 (week of)
Consultant Selection & Contract Negotiation November 1, 2021 (week of)
Project Kick-Off November 8, 2021 (week of)