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Innovative reforms increase contract opportunities for small businesses | King County

King County is seeing the results of a two-year procurement reform effort that emphasizes contracting opportunities for small businesses. The data comes from an annual report sent to the County Council today by King County Executive Dow Constantine.

“These results show that our reforms are making it easier for small firms to do business with the County, creating more jobs in the private sector and strengthening local communities,” said Executive Constantine.

Among the key findings in the 2011 Contracting Opportunities Program Report:

An 89% increase in the number of construction contract awards to small contractor and supplier (SCS) firms

102 awards in 2011 compared to 54 in 2010

A 42% increase in the value of contracts issued to SCS firms

$33.2 million in 2011 compared to $23.3 million in 2010

A 35% increase in the number of contracts awarded to SCS firms for goods and services, consulting, and construction services

182 contracts awarded in 2011 compared to 135 in 2010

An 8% increase in the number of SCS-certified firms

1,202 total certified firms in 2011 compared to 1,115 in 2010

The Contracting Opportunities Program is a key element of the Executive’s Procurement Reform Initiative, a two-year intensive effort launched in March 2010 that focuses on efficiency and equity results to make it easier for small firms to do business with King County. Over the past two years, the County has shown a significant upward trend in contract awards for SCS firms, as well as for minority, women-owned, and disadvantaged businesses.

As part of the procurement reform effort in 2011, King County developed a new Small Business Accelerator program that allows SCS firms to compete among themselves for designated contracts. In addition, the County established its first $4 million “job order” contract that provides extensive subcontracting opportunities for small repair and construction projects; and new SCS participation requirements on “work order” contracts for on-call engineering and construction projects.

Another key element of the procurement reform effort involved establishing a regional certification program for small contractors and suppliers. In partnership with the Port of Seattle and Sound Transit, the County’s new SCS registry allows businesses to submit a single application and be eligible to compete as an SCS-certified firm for public contracts with all three jurisdictions.

To sign up for the SCS registry, a small business must be at or below 50% of the United States Small Business Administration standards for size, and the personal net worth of each owner cannot exceed $750,000. In addition, the business must also agree to participate in 15 hours of business training within the first year of program certification. For more information about the Small Contractor and Supplier certification program, visit www.kingcounty.gov/SCSDirectory.

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