Every year, Sacramento County spends more than $175 million in goods and services for items from new office chairs to the landscaping services. To encourage local and small business participation in contracting and procurement of these goods and services, the County crafted small business ordinances and is actively promoting them through free workshops in the business community.
“Recently, the County quadrupled the bid limit for contracts, allowing small businesses to receive point/percentage preference for contracts up to $1 million. The preference helps level the competition and increases contracting opportunities for small businesses,” said Craig Rader, Purchasing Agent.
The goal of the program’s changes is to help improve the economy in Sacramento and surrounding areas. By allowing small and local businesses to take part in contracts worth even greater amounts, the County hopes to keep contracting dollars local, which creates jobs and stimulates the business community. This change also empowers small businesses, giving them a chance to compete with larger, more established businesses.
How the ordinances work:
When the County is required to obtain formal bids from multiple businesses, each qualifying bidder is given a percentage/point value based on their bid amount. Certified micro-businesses located in the Sacramento Regional Market Area (Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba) qualify for the preference during the bidding process.
A bidder who is certified as a micro-business located in the Sacramento Regional Market Area receives a two percent reduction on the amount of their bid. A qualifying business located in the Sacramento County (regardless of size) receives a five percent price/point preference on their bid. The contracting officer applies the reductions to bid responses and the lowest responsible bid (or highest scoring bid) wins the contract. The County still pays the full amount listed in the original bid, but uses the reduced bid amount when comparing companies. This process helps boost the standing of the small and local business’s bid.
The County’s Procurement Opportunities Program (POP) provides procedural assistance and contracting information to any firm wishing to do business with the County. To assist with the often complex registration process, the County provides FREE workshops and training opportunities. Workshops include “How to do Business with County of Sacramento,” and “Sacramento County eProcurement online bidding system.
The “How to do Business with Sacramento County” class is a prerequisite to other classes and is provided to promote local and small businesses interested in contracts with the County and City of Sacramento.
The class covers:
Working with (or selling to) the County of Sacramento & City of Sacramento
Registering your business with Sacramento County & City of Sacramento
Tips for successfully responding to a solicitation bid
Local and small business assistance defined
The “How to Use our eProcurement online bidding system” class helps firms that have already registered to receive solicitation notifications for the County through its eProcurement partner and need assistance learning how the system works.
To receive notification of upcoming classes as well as the latest County news, sign up online.