CARES Act – Solicitation of Local Service Providers

November 10, 2020 - 7 minutes read

The Michigan Small Business Development Center (Michigan SBDC) program is a major management and technical assistance delivery program of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The Lead Center, which serves statewide leadership and administrative functions, is hosted by Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business. The Michigan SBDC network includes ten regional offices, two satellite centers, and over fifty affiliate centers throughout Michigan serving all 83 counties.

The Michigan SBDC enhances Michigan’s economic well-being by providing consulting, training and market research for new ventures, existing small businesses and advanced technology companies. The SBDC is headquartered at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids.

Annually the Michigan SBDC consults approximately 5,500 small businesses and provides business education to approximately 6,500 attendees.

The Great Lakes Bay and Northeast Region SBDC, through U.S. SBA CARES Act funding, is requesting proposals from service providers to perform activities to address the needs of small businesses impacted by COVID-19 through education, training and performing tasks specializing in the following:

  1. Provide guidance to small businesses to protect their workplaces, employees and customers against potential health and safety threats including the prevention of the transmission of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.
  2. Assist businesses in understanding and preparing for the potential effects of sudden natural or man-made disasters on small business supply chains, operations, finances, payroll, as well as the distribution and sales of products.
  3. Assist small businesses in developing robust web integration, online sales, and marketing cybersecurity for small businesses, online distribution, and delivery services.
  4. Assist small businesses in developing and executing continuity of operations through planning, telework, remote management, and customer service practices, to sustain business activities during periods of interrupted business service.

Services Requested:

Businesses that have operations in Michigan or provide a unique service may respond to this request:

  • Retail Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Firms companies assisting small businesses with POS, Inventory Management and eCommerce integration and execution
  • Attorneys or Law Firms offering discounted blocks of hours to assist with contract review, vendor negotiation, Intellectual Property protection, Human Resource Issues, and Real Estate Law
  • Website Design Firms that can offer simple web site development, SEO implementation, Social Media integrations
  • Graphic Design Firms that can provide design, logo design, signage and menu design
  • Consulting Firms that can help small businesses develop and execute continuity of operations through planning, telework, customer service practices and remote management or operations automation
  • Payroll and HR Firms that specialize in payroll services, creation of employee handbooks and SOPs, and payroll processing services for businesses with fewer than 50 employees
  • Other Services addressing the small business needs listed above

Process for Small Businesses Accessing Services
(how to get access to the services under this contract)

The contracted services will be delivered directly to Michigan small businesses. Small businesses across the region are able to request access to the contracted services listed above.

The services will be assigned to small businesses through an internal review process. Small businesses and the Lead Consultant must submit a brief request for services, following the regional allocation plan for services.

If accepted, the small business will be contacted via the Lead Consultant and introduced to the Service Provider’s Point of Contact. The successful completion of the project will be overseen by the Lead Consultant and Client in partnership with the Regional Director to ensure the quality of delivered contracted services.

Proposal Format

Price quotes will be accepted outlining hourly blocks of time or flat dollar amounts for a predetermined menu of services for the above categories and activities. These blocks of time should be between 10-160 hours or $500 and $8,000 of value-added, definable and deliverable services (i.e Quickbooks set up; website setup; online shopping basket platform set up; product certification, etc.) and can cover any one or combination of the objectives above.

Activities could include:

  • 15-20 minute video/webinar series on pertinent topics following the established Michigan SBDC process
  • Blocks of small group or one-on-one consulting time on specific software or programs widely used in small business applications (Square, QuickBooks, WIX, Airtable, Zapier, etc.)
  • Discounted rates on services or subscriptions associated with the activities outlined above
  • Flat Rate for defined service (i.e. “will provide 5 simple e-commerce websites for $2,000 each; total quote of $10,000”)
  • Flat rates for educational webinar series

Proposal Requirements:

  • Please respond to by Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 at 11:59pm
  • All service deliverables will be done remotely, travel expenses will not be paid
  • All respondents must provide a reference list or portfolio of prior services/clients
  • All respondents must designate a single point of contact for the contract
  • Menu of services must have a succinct scope of work description for each offering.
  • All quoted pricing on products or services must be valid through September 30, 2021
  • All respondents must include 30-60 minute professional development training for Michigan SBDC Consultants/staff introducing the company, offerings and solutions offered in contract

Additional Considerations:

  • Proven ability to deliver services to a diverse group of small business owners
  • History of supporting entrepreneurship in the state
  • Experience meeting reporting requirements for government grants and contracts on established deadlines

Additional Information:

  • Regional Team will contact top candidates to discuss proposal details (~15-20 mins virtual session)
  • Proposals are subject to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act
  • Acceptance of awarded proposal will be made by GVSU purchase order