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COVID-19 Economic Inclusion Community Assistance Program

Salt Lake County is seeking community organizations to help achieve a more inclusive economic recovery from COVID-19 by connecting businesses with available resources and identifying any additional resource needs.

In response to the long-term economic opportunity gaps in the County and the short-term issues created by a K-shaped recovery from COVID-19, this assistance will target communities experiencing economic opportunity gaps.

  • Those communities can be, but are not limited to: African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Asian-Pacific, Subcontinent Asian American, women, persons with disabilities, veterans, and socially and/or economically disadvantaged businesses, including businesses located in geographies with lower economic opportunity.
We must overcome barriers related to trust, inclusion, and other issues. We believe that community-based organizations have the existing relationships, established networks, and cultural awareness necessary to effectively assist small business owners most impacted by the pandemic.

Request for Applications (RFA)

Request for Applications (RFA)

COVID-19 Economic Inclusion Community Assistance Program #ORD42

REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS

Download a pdf copy of the EICAP RFA.

I.PURPOSE

This announcement solicits applications for Salt Lake County-based community organizations to help achieve a more inclusive economic recovery from COVID-19 by connecting businesses with available resources and identifying any resource needs. In response to the long-term economic opportunity gaps in the County and the short-term issues created by a K-shaped recovery from COVID-19, this assistance will target communities experiencing economic opportunity gaps, described in further detail below.

II. TERM OF AGREEMENT

The contracts resulting from this solicitation will become effective on the date of execution with a six (6) month term. The term may be extended for a two (2) month term for project closeout and final payment.

III. SCOPE OF WORK

Background:

The Salt Lake County Office of Regional Development (the “County”) is concerned about a K-shaped recovery from COVID-19, where some communities recover more slowly than others from the pandemic. As part of addressing that issue, the County wants to connect businesses from communities experiencing economic opportunity gaps, referred to herein as “Opportunity Business Enterprises” (“OBEs”), with resources to facilitate a stronger recovery. This program will be called the Economic Inclusion Community Assistance Program (“EICAP”).

For the purposes of EICAP, examples of OBEs can be, but not limited to: African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Asian-Pacific, Subcontinent Asian American, women, persons with disabilities, veterans, and socially and/or economically disadvantaged businesses, including businesses located in geographies with lower economic opportunity.

Between county, municipal, federal, non-profit, and other entities, many resources exist to help OBEs overcome business obstacles, yet the desired outcomes continue to not be achieved. To achieve those outcomes, we must overcome barriers related to trust, inclusion, and other issues. 

The County wants to evaluate whether it can work with community partners (“Partners”) to connect OBEs with existing resources and identify resource needs. We believe that Partners have the existing relationships, established networks, and cultural awareness necessary to effectively assist OBEs.

To make this work, the County will fund staff (“Facilitators”) to work with Partners. If Partners have existing personnel qualified to provide such assistance, they will receive priority. If Partners need additional personnel, the County will attempt to identify and place qualified Facilitators.

To ensure that Facilitators provide the best assistance possible, the County will provide initial training (“Initial Training”) to all Facilitators. This Initial Training will cover existing business resources and business resource providers, common issues faced by businesses, effective communication with business resource providers, common cultural and technical barriers to successful resource utilization, and compliance processes required by the County for program participation as described below in ‘Tasks to be Completed’. This Initial Training will be provided in cooperation with a third-party training provider contracted by the County.

The County acknowledges that administration of such assistance will involve administrative costs for Partners. Payment to Partners will be made at $25 per hour of services provided, with the Partner able to shift a portion of that amount to administrative costs so long as Facilitators are paid no less than $12 per hour.

The County also acknowledges that some fixed costs may exist. The hourly payments described above involve an assumption that Partner costs will be variable costs. In the application, Partners can detail any expected fixed costs and request reimbursement. The County does not guarantee that it will approve all requests, but will actively seek to fund and facilitate the greatest impact possible.

The County’s primary point of contact for administration of this program will be its COVID-19 Economic Recovery Program Manager (“ERPM”).

Total budget for this program is approximately $200,000. To determine the proper number and allocation of Facilitators, the County will consider the combined information from all applications. The County will make its best effort to allocate Facilitators and approved hours of assistance based on funds available, as well as the need and capacity demonstrated by applicants. Our goal is to maximize impact and inclusion.

Minimum Qualification Requirements:

  1. Partners must affirm that they have operated for at least three (3) years and are qualified to provide or facilitate the assistance described in this request. If a Partner has not operated for at least three (3) years, it must provide justification to support its ability to support OBEs for the duration of the contract period.
  2. Partners must not be a for-profit entity.
  3. Partners must use the online form linked below that includes necessary prompts and instruction to provide:

a. Legal business name and EIN number;

b. Description of past services and qualifications:

i. a description of any similar assistance they have provided to businesses since March 2020;
ii. the number of businesses that they have provided assistance to since March 2020;
iii. resumes for Partner’s senior leadership;
iv. resumes for any internal personnel Partners would like prioritized as Facilitators;
v. a list of board members for their organization;
vi. the total number of members for their organization;
vii. the number of businesses that are members; 

c. Description of services they would provide OBEs, were they to receive funding;

i. identify three (3) to five (5) issues and/or gaps that they foresee addressing with OBEs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic 
ii. how they would address these identified issues;
iii. an affirmation that proposed services will be new activities for the Community Partner and that funds will not be used for existing or ongoing activities; and
iv. if Partners would like any internal personnel prioritized as Facilitators, an explanation of each person’s qualifications to address these issues (in addition to resume requirement from 3(b)(iv) above).

d. Information necessary to determine the quantity of services Partners estimate they can provide, to include:

i. number of OBEs they plan to provide services in the first month (Partners may provide multiple services to a single OBE – for the purposes of these requirements, only count each OBE once)
ii. number of OBEs they estimate to provide services in the entire six months of the contract;
iii. number of hours of services they plan to provide in the first month;
iv. number of hours of services they estimate to provide for the entire six months of the contract (this will be used to generate a Not To Exceed dollar amount for the initial contract);
v. number of Facilitators required to provide such services and the approximate hours each Facilitator would work per week;
vi. a list of internal personnel the Partners would like prioritized as Facilitators and the hours per week those Facilitators would be available to provide services; and
vii. a dollar amount and justification for any fixed or indirect costs necessary to provide services.

Tasks to be Completed:

The selected Partners will provide services including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Work with ERPM to ensure that all Facilitators receive Initial Training (this training will be a requirement before funding a Facilitator and Facilitators will be paid for attendance);
  2. Connect Facilitators with OBEs;
  3. Work with Facilitators to connect OBEs to resources;
  4. Submit bi-weekly reports to ERPM via an online form on the number of hours and dates worked for each Facilitator, the number of businesses served, background information on those businesses, a summary of services provided, the resource providers utilized, and other information necessary for program improvement and performance management;
  5. Request additional disbursements after the first month via an online form;
  6. Attend a monthly meeting of Partners convened by the County; and
  7. The anticipated timeline for this program is April 15, 2021 to October 15, 2021. We anticipate additional programming immediately following this period based upon the lessons learned from EICAP.

IV. COSTS & FEES

A. Total Contracted Amount Disbursed Monthly: Based upon the estimated hours provided in ‘Minimum Qualification Requirements(3)(j)(iv)’, the County will offer a contract for six months’ worth of services. Following the process below, the County will disburse payments monthly, with flexibility allowed for increased or decreased number of hours provided.

B. $25 per hour: Partners shall be paid $25 per hour of services provided by Facilitators to OBEs.

C. Fixed or Indirect Costs: If approved by the County, Partners shall be reimbursed in the first month for any fixed or indirect costs as described in ‘Minimum Qualification Requirements(3)(j)(vii)’.

D. One-Month’s (1) Pay Upfront: Initial payment shall be made based on the estimated hours of services provided in the first month, as described in ‘Minimum Qualification Requirements - 3(j)(iii)’ above with the ability to carry funds forward.

E. Monthly Updates and Disbursements After Initial Payment: No later than one week before the first Monday of a month, Partners must update the County on the number of hours they expect to provide in the following month and provide an invoice for any additional disbursement required. Invoices must be in accordance with section IV(I) below. 

F. Can Request More if Exhaust Early: If Partners provide the total hours of services set forth in part IV(A) of this section, they may request additional funding if available. Funds will be paid on a first come, first serve basis as Partners exhaust their Total Contracted Amount. To make any such decision to fund additional services, the County will consider (1) how to achieve maximum impact based on services already provided by all Partners and (2) the time remaining for the program. Decisions will be at the County’s discretion and the County offers no guarantees.

G. Can Carry Forward If Don’t Hit Estimated Hours: If Partners do not provide all the estimated hours of services for a given month, Partners may continue using the funds provided until they provide the total estimated hours of services. Following months’ disbursements will be adjusted accordingly.

H. Must Repay on Pro-rated Basis if Don’t Provide Total Estimated Hours: If Partners cannot provide the estimated hours of services for any contract, they must return the pro-rated remainder of funds as calculated by number of hours performed divided by number of estimated hours.

I. Invoicing: Partner organization invoicing should include contract number, name and contact information for organization providing assistance, date range of services provided, invoice number and date, and total amount due.

J. Reporting: Before payment of invoices, reporting via an online link will need to be submitted by Partners and be approved by the ERPM. Reporting requirements shall be in accordance with Task 4 in Tasks to be Completed.

K. Termination: Partners must follow the reporting requirements above and demonstrate that their services are creating impact for businesses. County reserves the right to terminate the contract with Partner, in whole or in part, at any time during the Term or any additional terms whenever County determines, in its sole discretion that it is in County’s interest to do so.

L. The County has the right to correct an incorrect invoice before paying.

V. QUESTIONS

Questions shall be submitted to ERPM, sthermos@slco.org, no later than April 2, 2021.

VI. APPLICATION SUBMISSION CRITERIA AND EVALUATION WEIGHT

All applications submitted will be evaluated using the following criteria:

30% Past Services and Relevant Experience: As set forth in Minimum Qualifications and Requirements, the Partner must explain its existing connection with OBEs and any previous services or assistance it has provided to OBEs that support its ability to facilitate the assistance described herein.

30% Project Team: As set forth in Minimum Qualifications and Requirements, resume of team members must demonstrate ability to create future impact.

30% Plan for Future Services: As set forth in Minimum Qualifications and Requirements, Partner must demonstrate an awareness of OBE issues and a plan to provide services that overcome these issues.

10% Agreement to Terms: Partners must agree to the terms and conditions contained herein.

VII. SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS

Applications are to be submitted using this link no later than April 7, 2021 at 5pm MST. Applications submitted after that deadline will be considered if funds remain available and shall be subject to the other requirements of the RFA and processed in the same manner and according to the same standards as all other applications submitted pursuant to this RFA.

Reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals may be provided upon receipt of a request with 5 working days’ notice. Please contact Contracts and Procurement at 801.468.2556. TTY users shall call 711.

VIII. NOTICE TO APPLICANTS

A. Scoring Applications

The application will be evaluated, scored, and ranked by a Selection Committee. Each member of the committee will be provided a score sheet to complete the application evaluation utilizing the point system listed below. Committee Members individually score the applications and rank them 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. according to their total score.

B. Costs

All costs associated with the preparation of the application, as well as any other related materials, will be borne by the applicant. All applications become the property of the County. The County reserves the right to stop the selection process at any time if it is considered to be in the best interest of the County. The County also reserves the right to reject any or all applications submitted. 

C. Written Agreement Required

The selected Partners must agree to all requirements in the RFA scope of work unless an exemption is stated in the application. The selected Partners must also be willing to enter into a written agreement with the County and agree to all the terms set forth in the Standard Form Agreement, attached to this RFA. IF YOU WISH TO ALTER THE RFA INCLUDING EXHIBITS, ATTACHMENTS, AND ADDENDA AND/OR ANY OF THE TERMS OF THE STANDARD AGREEMENT, THE EXCEPTION MUST BE SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFIED IN YOUR APPLICATION WITH REASONABLE ALTERNATIVES PRESENTED. APPLICANT UNDERSTANDS THAT DEVIATIONS FROM THE STANDARD FORM AGREEMENTS ARE MADE AT THE COUNTY’S DISCRETION. Applicants are advised that the County is not bound by the terms of the RFA until a written agreement is fully executed and any activity taken by applicants prior to a written agreement being fully executed is done at the applicant’s sole risk.

D. Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA):

The County is a governmental entity subject to the Utah Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”), Utah Code Ann. §§ 63G-2-101 to -901. Generally, GRAMA only protects against the disclosure of trade secrets or commercial information that could reasonably be expected to result in unfair competitive injury. All documents submitted in response to this RFA will be treated as public records in accordance with GRAMA, unless a claim of business confidentiality has been properly made and approved by the County.

E. Copyrighted Material Waiver:

In the event that the application contains copyrighted or trademarked materials, by submitting its application the applicant grants the County the right to use, reproduce, and publish the copyrighted or trademark materials in any manner the County deems necessary for conducting County business and for allowing public access to the responses under GRAMA or otherwise, including but not limited to photocopying, County Intranet/Internet postings, broadcast faxing, and direct mailing. 

F. Restrictions On Communications

From the issue date of this solicitation until Partners are selected and the selection is announced, applicants are prohibited from communications regarding this procurement with agency staff, evaluation committee members, or other associated individuals EXCEPT the Procurement Officer overseeing this procurement. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in disqualification.

G. RFA Cancellation

This RFA may be cancelled at any time prior to the execution of a written agreement if deemed in the best interests of the County. This includes cancellation of the RFA after an award has been made, but prior to the execution of a written contract. Partners are not entitled to recover any costs related to the preparation of the application due to cancellation of the RFA or withdrawal of an award prior to the execution of a written agreement.

H. Receiving RFAs

Contracts and Procurement will administer receipt and opening of all applications. After the closing time, only the identity of each applicant will be made public. 

I. Protests

Pursuant to Salt Lake County Code of Ordinances § 3.20.150, a protest in regard to the RFA document must be submitted in writing prior to the RFA closing date. All other protests must be submitted in writing within five (5) business days after notification of the award is posted on the Salt Lake County Office of Regional Development website. A protestor may file only one (1) protest after the RFA closing date. Protest letters must specifically and completely state the facts that the protestor believes constitute error in the RFA document or the award. 

J. Free and Competitive Selection

Any agreement or collusion among prospective applicants to limit competition will render the application void, and such conduct is unlawful and subject to criminal sanction. By applying, the applicant hereby certifies that no one in its organization has either directly or indirectly restrained free and competitive selection, participated in any collusion, or otherwise taken any action unauthorized by County Purchasing Ordinances or applicable law.

K. Environmentally Responsible Procurement Practices

County has implemented environmentally responsible procurement practices.

L. Debrief Meetings

Debrief meetings with the selection committee members will not be allowed, however, an applicant may discuss the RFA process with the Procurement Officer at any time. 

Download a pdf copy of the EICAP RFA.

RFA Process Timeline

3.29.21 — Request for Applications (RFA)

 Webinar

4.7.21 — Applications Due

4.9.21 — Applicants Notified

4.15.21 — Contracts Signed

4.16.21 — Facilitator Training

4.15-10.15.21 — Program Timeline

Application Process

Applications are to be submitted using the link below beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, March 29 and no later than April 7, 2021 at 5 p.m. MST.

Applications submitted after that deadline will be considered if funds remain available, and will be subject to the other requirements of the RFA, and processed in the same manner and standards as all other applications submitted.

Applicants will be notified shortly after the closing period. Anticipate a contract to be signed within a week of applications due, with your program facilitator training taking place immediately following.

This community assistance program will run through October 15, 2021.

Webinar: EICAP Info Session

The County hosted a live webinarMonday, March 29, to review the program and answer questions from potential applicants.

Watch a Recording of the Webinar

Webinar Presentation Slides

Questions?

Contact Samantha Thermos, COVID-19 Economic Recovery Program Manager at sthermos@slco.org or 385-468-4847. Application questions should be sent by email no later than April 2, 2021.

EICAP FAQ

When is the application open?

The application will open on Monday, March 29 at 10 a.m., and will close Wednesday, April 7 at 5 p.m.

Where can I find the application?
How much can I apply for?

There is no maximum. Initial amounts will be determined based on applicants' projected budgets, community need, and overall available grant program budget.

Our goal is to maximize impact and inclusion based on the input from all applicants.

What can grant program funds be used for?
  1. Administrative expenses and Facilitator wages,
  2. Fixed and indirect costs (if approved), and
  3. More specific information is located within the Request for Application (RFA).
What are the eligibility criteria?
  • Operate in Salt Lake County;
  • Not be a for-profit entity
    • Acceptable: 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 organization or education institution; 
  • Have operated for at least three years providing assistance or services to Opportunity Business Enterprises (OBEs), or must provide justification of ability to support OBEs for duration of contract period;
  • Completion of online application form, including attaching requested documents.
If our organization primarily provides assistance outside of Salt Lake County, but we do provide some assistance to businesses within Salt Lake County, are we eligible to apply?

Yes, if your organization has existing relationships and knowledge of companies in need of such assistance and you can provide a clear plan for assistance or services to qualifying Salt Lake County companies.

You may not use funds to provide assistance or services outside Salt Lake County. If you are located outside of Salt Lake County and request reimbursement for fixed or indirect costs, we may require additional justification to ensure that such reimbursement supports Salt Lake County companies.

If my organization doesn't serve minority-owned businesses, does this disqualify me as a recipient?

The key here is "Opportunity Business Enterprises" (OBEs), which are defined as businesses from communities that experience lower economic opportunity. Facilitators must work with OBEs and partners must demonstrate experience with and connection to these communities.

For the purposes of EICAP, examples of OBEs can be, but are not limited to: 

  • African American,
  • Black,
  • Hispanic,
  • Latinx,
  • Native American,
  • Asian-Pacific,
  • Subcontinent Asian American,
  • Women,
  • Persons with disabilities,
  • Veterans
  • Socially and/or economically disadvantaged businesses, including businesses located in geographies with lower economic opportunity.
How specific do my proposed services have to be in the application?

Each business might require something different. You don't need to have all the answers yet. The application requires that you identify 3-5 problems your target audience is experiencing and then a strategy for solving those problems.

While we do not require you to have all the answers, we will make decisions on the allotment of funds based on how well partners have identified problems and the potential efficacy of proposed solutions. Try to provide the highest quality responses possible, given all the unknowns that we acknowledge exist.

If our organization provides services to companies, such as financial education, but those companies are not always "Opportunity Business Enterprises", could we still qualify to provide assistance?

The County will only approve assistance or services to OBEs. If you plan to provide assistance or services to OBEs, you should apply.

A strong application will demonstrate a connection to communities with OBEs. Partners must have the existing relationships, established networks, and cultural awareness necessary to effectively assist OBEs.

Are there restrictions or expectations for spending?
  • Organizations cannot use funds for projects previously budgeted or for revenue replacement. These must be new activities.
  • Expectations are focused on:
    • Number of businesses served,
    • Resources that Facilitators connect with businesses, and
    • Identification of resource gaps.
  • We want Facilitators out in the community, not performing administrative tasks.
What if I do not know who I want to prioritize as a facilitator?

This does not disqualify an application. You can either provide a plan for identifying a facilitator or ask the County to help you find a facilitator.

Strong applications will have a clear overall plan for moving forward. If you do not have someone you want prioritized as a facilitator, please have a plan for getting that person in place.

What if we don't know how many hours facilitators could work?

For hours, provide an estimate.

We built flexibility into the process so we can adjust as we go. The initial contracted amount will be for six months of services, based on the estimate for total hours you provide in the application. Funds will be disbursed monthly, in advance of services provided, based on your updates you provide on number of hours worked. If facilitators work less hours than estimated, disbursements can be adjusted down. If facilitators work more hours than estimated, disbursements can be adjusted up. If partners exhaust the entire contracted amount, additional amounts can be awarded if they remain available.

Are there reporting requirements?
  • Submit bi-weekly reports via an online form detailing the Opportunity Business Enterprises assisted and the assistance or services provided.
    • The form fields will require specific information. The County will provide training on reporting requirements. If partners have difficulty providing required reports, they will receive feedback from the County.
  • This information will include, but is not limited to,: 
    • Facilitator name
    • Hours worked
    • Company receiving assistance
    • Industry
    • Number of employees
    • Gender
    • Race
    • Disability
    • Issues addressed
    • Resources connected with
    • And other information
  • Failure to track and report information can lead to disqualification or termination of your contract.
How long will it take to receive notice of approval?

No later than Monday, April 12, 2021, with the goal of providing contracts by April 13.

How much money is available?

$200,000 for the six-month duration of the program. Based on lessons learned from this program, we hope to fund longer-term activities that target Opportunity Business Enterprises.

Our Organization needs assistance. Who can we contact?

Samantha Thermos, the Economic Recovery Program Manager, can be reached at sthermos@slco.org or 385-468-4847.

Application questions should be submitted by email no later than April 2, 2021.

Reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals may be provided upon receipt of a request with five working days’ notice. Please contact Contracts and Procurement at 801.468.2556. TTY users shall call 711.