SEED Quarterly Winter 2020
At SMUD, we’re here to support our community, businesses and neighborhoods with:
Business resources. We've compiled a list of resources for our local business community.
Contracting opportunities. Our Procurement department continues to release solicitations for essential business contracts. Don't miss an opportunity to submit a bid to do business with SMUD.
Safely paying your bill. There are several safe and easy ways to pay your bill. Online options include My Account, our guest pay option and through the SMUD App. Or, you can visit one of our authorized pay stations.
Help with your bill. We know how challenging things are right now and we’re here to help. Extended through January 4, 2021, we will not disconnect your power due to non-payment. And we won't add late fees to your bill. We want all our customers to have power at this time. Customers who are behind on payment will still owe SMUD for service, they will just not lose power at this time.
Don't hesitate to contact our team for assistance at any time at SEED.Mgr@smud.org
We all agree that 2020 has been full of unique and unprecedented challenges, and the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected individuals and businesses. The toll was especially difficult for small businesses who were forced to close or significantly reduce regular business activities.
Throughout the year, we’ve been gathering information about small businesses who’ve pivoted and reinvented themselves to meet the needs of the community. Here are some highlights of many outstanding local small businesses who pivoted for success.
- Allstar Printing – When its typical business slowed, this Citrus Heights print shop began printing and giving away “Open for Business” and “Open for Business Take Out Orders” signs for local businesses and restaurants. Business owners picked up free signs and often purchased more banners for their locations.
- Busy Kids – This Folsom-based childcare business reinvented itself by offering things like home activity kits for children, a touch-less Easter Bunny delivery and Mother’s and Father’s Day gift packages to help parents out while working and schooling from home.
- California Sunlight – As a small solar technology company hit hard by the pandemic, this Sacramento-based business pivoted its development and manufacturing efforts to create an easy-to-install, clamp-on sneeze guard to support safety measures.
- JJ Pfister – In their Rancho Cordova distillery, JJ Pfister produced more than 16,000 gallons of World Health Organization-approved hand sanitizer as it transformed their business from producing craft spirits to hand sanitizer for essential workers.
- Single Mom Strong – This business expanded its Citrus Heights footprint, implemented strong safety measures and created a nurturing environment to provide free childcare for essential workers during the pandemic.
- Soil Born Farms – Soil Born Farms reinvented its weekly farmer’s market by transitioning to online. Now, you can pre-order your produce, plants and baked goods and choose a drive-through pick up time on Saturdays at the Rancho Cordova location.
- Solomon’s Delicatessen – In partnership with Sacramento Covered, this downtown restaurant transformed into a community kitchen to feed those in need.
Virtual Energy Assessments
Just as our customers have had to adjust their business processes to accommodate a new “normal,” so has SMUD. In November, our Strategic Account Advisors proudly launched the Virtual Energy Assessment program to continue supporting our business customers by giving online energy assessments in a safe and flexible manner with no contact. As always, this is a free service designed to help you identify ways to save money and learn about SMUD rebates.
In September, SMUD launched our annual employee giving campaign, which was reimagined this year to include several contactless donations and socially-distanced volunteer activities at local non-profit locations. This year, we contracted with SacMoFo, one of our SEED-qualified vendors, to provide participating employees with a food truck voucher. SacMoFo made it easy to work with them by printing SMUD-branded vouchers to be used at any of their participating food trucks without expiration!
Historically, SMUD contracted with SacMoFo to host two food truck events per month, between April and November, at our corporate facilities. Unfortunately, like most large businesses and office parks, SMUD was unable to host food truck events due to COVID-19. The food trucks, which are individually-owned small businesses, rely upon these types of events to support their business. Trish Lindvall of our Community Engagement team notes, “Add that to the loss of revenue from canceled festivals and community events and these businesses were hit hard. This was a way to thank the employees, support small business and offer restaurant options to employees working remotely throughout the Sacramento region.”.
DID YOU KNOW… Through the SEED program, SMUD awarded over $130M - 33% of our contracts - to local small businesses in 2019.
You may be familiar with the Rapid Ramen Cooker, an invention that revolutionized the way millions of people cook their ramen noodles. Its creator, Christopher Johnson, a Sacramento area businessman, came up with the idea of the microwave cooker and developed a winning prototype in 2012. Soon after, Johnson earned a spot on his favorite show, Shark Tank, where he received offers from 3 out of 5 sharks and he chose to make history with Mark Cuban. It wasn’t long before the Rapid Ramen Cooker became a #1 seller on Amazon, made it onto the shelves of thousands of retailers and earned license deals with Nickelodeon, Disney and Betty Crocker.
You’re probably wondering what the Rapid Ramen Cooker has to do with SMUD. Well, before the success of his invention, Christopher Johnson was president of the Johnson Group, Inc., a small local staffing company that participated in our SEED program and won multiple contracts with SMUD in 2009 and 2010. When asked about contracting with SMUD, Johnson said his bidding experience and the SEED program had a great impact on the growth of his company.
These days, as Johnson shares his story with entrepreneurs, he speaks about the importance of faith and persistence. The Johnson Group bid on over 50 solicitations before winning a contract with SMUD, and one of the biggest challenges the company faced was figuring out how to demonstrate its value and viability for winning contracts. The SEED program presented a unique solution to this challenge through bid incentives offered to prime contractors working with local small businesses. Johnson was motivated to connect and partner with prime contractors that led to winning bids and a chance to demonstrate the value his company brought to the table. It wasn’t long before the Johnson Group was winning its own contracts with SMUD and being recognized as a leader in small business throughout the community. According to Johnson, “SMUD’s SEED program is world class in their commitment to small business” and it had a great impact in growth for the Johnson Group.
|Civil Annual Construction Contract|
|In-person surveys, interviews, data collection and marketing support|
|Splice Kit 69KV 1000MCMAI Heat-shrink|
Recently awarded SEED contracts
|ABE Janitorial Supply, Inc.|
|Ascent Environmental, Inc.|
|C & G Technology Services, Inc.|
|Crusader Fence Company|
|Vehicle Wraps, Inc.|
|Western Contract Furnishers of Sacramento|