Proposal would add Seattle Community Colleges as participating agency in regional certification program
Seattle Community Colleges would be added to a regional certification program that has dramatically increased contracting opportunities for local small businesses, under a proposal from King County Executive Dow Constantine.
The program offers small firms the "one-stop" convenience of submitting a single application to be eligible for contracting opportunities with any of the program's partners, which already include King County, Sound Transit, and the Port of Seattle.
"Our procurement reforms have cut processing times for contracts in half, nearly doubled the number of construction contracts awarded to small contractors and suppliers, and more than tripled construction dollars paid to minority- and women-owned businesses," said Executive Constantine. "Adding Seattle Community Colleges to the certification program will open the door to opportunity for even more small local businesses."
More than 1,700 local small businesses have already been certified under the Small Business Certification program, part of the Executive's Procurement Reform Initiative, with 200 more expected to be certified this year. Over the past four years, the initiative has:
- Dramatically reduced the time it takes to process contracts, dropping the average days to completion from 300 days to 164 days for design contracts, and from 250 days to 100 days for construction contracts;
- Created $2.9 million of subcontracting work for small contractors and suppliers as part of two county job order contracts; and
- Significantly increased Minority/Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) construction dollars paid out, from $268,000 in 2010 to a combined total of $1,379,000 for the two-year period 2012-2013.
"Not only has the Procurement Reform Initiative saved time and money for King County, but it's also providing a more efficient and equitable environment for contractors to do business with us," said Ken Guy, director of the county's Finance and Business Operations Division.
In addition to the small business certification program, King County has also continued to recruit more firms into its Small Business Accelerator program. This program allows similar-sized firms that are certified by King County as small businesses to compete against each other for certain county contracts.
"We appreciate being certified and what that means for our company and other small businesses trying to succeed in the business world today," said Michelle Rhodes, finance manager at Exeltech, an engineering consulting company based in Lacey. "Programs such as these are a big help to the communities in which they exist."
The Metropolitan King County Council will act on the Executive's proposal to add Seattle Community Colleges to the small business certification program.
To learn more about small business contracting opportunities with King County, or about the Procurement Reform Initiative, visit www.kingcounty.gov/procurement.