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 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.
- Do not forget to submit your DGS Certification and make sure it is current and valid. Do not wait until the last minute to renew your DGS Certification. Verify your status at www.dgs.ca.gov/pd.
- On bid copies, it is necessary to submit exactly what is requested.
- When responding to questions, be very concise in your answers. Try and answer the question exactly as it is stated. It is not recommended to use "see attachment" as your answer. Do not attach sales pamphlets as a response to the questions.
- If your company has done business with SMUD before, it is best to answer the questions as if they are being answered for the first time. Do not assume the SMUD staff currently reviewing your bid or proposal is familiar with your past work.
- Always provide references when requested. Do not respond with "will provide when moved to the next level" or "when chosen."
- When possible, make sure you have complied with our Supplier Education and Economic Development (SEED) requirements.
- Always verify that you have signed all forms requested in the bid.
- Pay close attention to all forms that are provided in the RFP.
- Predetermine if you are going to bid as a prime or sub-contractor.
- When submitting your bid, verify your calculations are correct and add up.
- For material bids, final price should include Freight on Board (FOB).
- For construction bids, be sure to include taxes in your bid.
- Sign and submit all addendums. Be aware of additional addendums that may have posted.
- Verify that you or someone in your company is receiving the system generated EBSS emails notifying you of changes to the bid (addendums). Include all the requested information from the addendums.
- It is very important to register and select as many categories that apply to your business on our Electronic Bid Solicitation System (EBSS) system. For assistance, contact EBSS-Help@smud.org.
- Once you register under EBSS, verify that the SMUD emails are not going to your SPAM or junk file.
- If you are interested in becoming a sub-contractor on the bid, list your company as a sub-contractor under the "Supplier Posting" tab in EBSS.
- Be sure your EBSS registration is current, with correct information about your company. Have several staff members from your company register under different categories.
- Do not take for granted that you will receive all the solicitations that are applicable to your business. Check EBSS frequently.
- Sub-Contractor Tip: Always attend pre-bid meetings and network with the primes. Some meetings may be mandatory.
- Sub-Contractor Tip: View the list of primes that have viewed the bid on the "Bidder Info" tab in EBSS and contact the prime if you are interested in becoming a sub-contractor for them.
- Always sign all required documents. Failure to do so may cost you a contract.
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