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SEED – Our small business incentive program

The SEED (Supplier Education and Economic Development) program offers local small businesses incentives to participate in SMUD's competitive bid process. It also helps prime contractors find local sub-contractors to gain an advantage in developing their bids or proposals.

To qualify for SEED

We are looking for vendors who meet both of the following qualifications:

Certification: The California Department of General Services (DGS), Office of Small Business and DVBE Certification, must certify the vendor as a "Small Business or Microbusiness." This is the only certification that we accept and it must be in place by the bid opening date (for an IFB/BR, or RFQ/E-Bid) or proposal due date (for RFPs) to qualify for the SEED Program.

Ratepayer qualification: The vendor must qualify as a SMUD ratepayer for six months prior to the bid or proposal due date. This will be based on the physical address of the business (see SMUD service area map) as recorded by the Department of General Services in its Small Business certification record. As a general rule, this will be the address shown on the DGS Small Business certificate.

SEED program incentives:

  • SEED prime contracting: All SEED vendors who bid on open solicitations will qualify for a 5 percent price advantage. The 5 percent is based on the lowest responsible bid (capped at $250,000). The vendor will also receive an additional 10 points in RFP evaluations.
  • SEED subcontracting program: All prime contractors whose bids include 20 percent subcontracting with SEED vendors will receive a 5 percent price evaluation based on the lowest responsive bid (capped at $250,000) and 10 points in RFP evaluations.
    Proposals with less than 20 percent SEED subcontracting will be awarded a 5 percent advantage on the part of their bid that includes SEED subcontractors. In the same way, they would receive additional points in their RFP evaluation based on the percentage of SEED subcontractors in their overall bid. Find a SEED subcontractor.
  • Sheltered market: At SMUD's discretion, contracts of $82,000 and below may be made available to SEED vendors only. For service contracts SMUD may award sheltered market multi-year contracts up to $246,000.

For information about the California Department of General Services (DGS) Small Business Certification Requirements, click here.


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