Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Civil Rights

Committed to equality in transportation service

Notice of Grant Opportunity/Request for Proposals (RFP)

Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) SFY 2019 Certified Small Business Micro Grant Program

 

Note: This document is available in alternative formats for persons with disabilities by calling Denise Pierre at (651) 366-3321 or for persons who are hearing or speech impaired by calling the Minnesota Relay Service at 1-800-627-3529.  For other information on disability rights and protections, visit https://www.dot.state.mn.us/ada/contacts.html.

This RFP does not obligate MnDOT to award a Grant or complete the project, and MnDOT reserves the right to cancel the solicitation if it is considered to be in its best interest.

Project Overview

MnDOT requests responses from certified small businesses who are seeking financial assistance for eligible expenses that increase their business capacity and/or industry knowledge to assist in their pursuit of MnDOT projects/contracts. 

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is committed to ensuring equal opportunity for all businesses and personnel on MnDOT projects.  OCR is committed to delivering a comprehensive Business Development Program (BDP) each year.  The BDP is designed to create a framework that provides training and technical assistance, along with access to business and financial resources that help certified small businesses compete more effectively for MnDOT projects/contracts. Building technical expertise, and increasing capacity for certified small businesses are impact goals of the program.

Project Goal

It is the goal of this project to:

  • Build the capacity, capabilities and expand the expertise of certified small businesses.
  • Help certified small business acquire industry knowledge needed to bid and be awarded MnDOT projects/contracts.
Funding Availability
  • $20,000.00
  • Funding will be awarded on a rolling basis and is available until April 30, 2019, or until funding is exhausted.
  • Intend to award multiple contracts with this funding.

Funding will be allocated through a competitive process with review by MnDOT staff.

Minimum Requirements/Eligibility

Applicants must meet the minimum requirements in order to be fully considered for this grant opportunity. Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Certified small business firm’s home state must be Minnesota;
  • Certified small business must work in Minnesota;
  • Certified small business must be working on or actively pursuing work on MnDOT projects and/or contracts (submitting bids for MnDOT projects; attending MnDOT networking events; participating in MnDOT Support Services Programs; have a Business Plan);
  • Certified small business must complete or have completed the MnDOT business assessment survey;
  • For training request - Certified Small Business Owner or Employee (only one person is eligible per proposal) must be employed by the certified small business firm (proof of employment must be submitted) both 1) at the time of the proposal submission, and 2) at the time training or assistance takes place.

For purposes of the Certified Small Business Micro Grant Program, a certified small business is a small business that has been certified through either the Minnesota Unified Certification Program (MnUCP) for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) or the Minnesota Department of Administration’s Targeted Group/Economically Disadvantaged/Veteran-Owned (TG/ED/VO) Small Business Procurement Program.
Please click the following links below for more information about either certification program:
- Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program
-Targeted Group/Economically Disadvantaged/Veteran-Owned (TG/ED/VO) Small Business Procurement Program

What work qualifies for reimbursement?
  • Technical training which expands or enhances a certified small business’ ability to obtain work associated with MnDOT professional technical contracts/projects; construction project and/or maintenance projects.  The technical training must correspond with the certified small business’ certification or a new area of business that would assist the business in obtaining work on MnDOT projects.  Certified small business firms are required to document how the training will benefit the certified small business on the MnDOT projects.  
  • Website development (MnDOT will not pay for fees associated with website maintenance).
  • Technical certifications required to perform specific MnDOT work types and/or industry certifications that will enhance a firm’s ability to bid for and win jobs.
  • Other areas of assistance based on the certified small business’ need.
What work does not qualify for reimbursement?
  • Advertising
  • Clothing
  • Trade Shows
  • Office Furnishings
  • Salaries/Personal Benefits
  • Utilities
  • Training that is offered through the MnDOT DBE Business Academy.
Funding and Payment:

All funding provided for the Certified Small Business Micro Grant Program will be provided as reimbursement for actual costs and expenses incurred by the certified small business for approved eligible expenses.  All costs and expenses must be documented and accounted for by the certified small business.  Funding for this program is capped at $20,000.00 (twenty thousand dollars and zero cents) per the 2019 State Fiscal Year (SFY). (The State Fiscal year runs from July 1-June 30). The reimbursement maximum is $2,000.00 (two thousand dollars and zero cents) per certified small business per State Fiscal Year pending availability of funds. Failure to provide all information in the proposal submission will result in the proposal submission being denied.  MnDOT recommends that certified small businesses wait until the contract is executed (all parties signed the contract) and received a notice to proceed from MnDOT Contract and Grant Administrator first before registering for training or purchasing the needed services. No reimbursement will be made for training/services that took place before the contract is executed.

Proposal Contents

The following will be considered minimum contents of the proposal and must be submitted in the order listed:

  • A completed Certified Small Business Micro Grant Program Application. The applicant must include supporting documentation in order for the application to be processed.
  • Proof of participation in MnDOT Support Services Program and/or proof of actively bidding MnDOT projects/contracts.
  • For training requests, include documentation showing the training content, cost, date(s) and time(s).  For example, the training brochure, course catalog, or other published information.
  • For other areas of request, include a description and/or picture of the items or services you are requesting to purchase and the quote from the entity whom you are making the purchase from.
  • Signed Affidavit of Non-Collusion Form (attached)
  • Conflict of Interest Checklist and Disclosure Form (attached)
  • Exception to Terms and Conditions form (attached)
  • The forms and documents required under any other section of this RFP (make sure to carefully read through General Information, below).
Proposal Evaluation

Representatives of MnDOT will evaluate all responses received by the deadline, or until funding is exhausted. In some instances, additional information may be requested as part of the evaluation process.

All proposals will be evaluated based on the clarity and completeness of their proposal; responses included in their application; and according to the following criteria:

    • Application explains the technical training or area of assistance needed in clear detail and demonstrates consistency with the Certified Small Business Micro Grant Program purpose and guidelines, as well as demonstrating a strong need for the training or assistance needed. 
    • Level of participation in MnDOT Support Services Program and/or proof of actively trying to actively bid or submit proposal for MnDOT projects.
    • Capacity, experience, and background of the key employee who is requesting the training. 
    • Detail, clarity, and articulation of the technical training or area of assistance needed.
    • Funding requested is clear and consistent with the technical training or area of assistance needed. 

MnDOT will evaluate proposals on a rolling basis and anticipates that the evaluation will be completed within 4 (four) business days of proposal submission.

If the responder’s proposal is approved, the responder will be asked to enter into a grant agreement with MnDOT in order for the responder to receive reimbursement.

Questions

Responders who have any questions regarding this RFP must submit questions by e-mail only to Thomas Mebrahtu, Project Manager, Thomas.mebrahtu@state.mn.us

Proposal Submittal

All proposals must be sent to:

Thomas Mebrahtu, Project Manager
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Office of Civil Rights
395 John Ireland Blvd
Mail Stop 170
St Paul, MN 55155-1899

All responses must be received no later 2:00 p.m. Central Standard Time on April 30, 2019, or until funding is exhausted. Late responses will not be considered. Please note that MnDOT Offices have implemented new security measures. These new procedures do not allow non-MnDOT employees to have access to the elevators or the stairs. You should plan enough time and follow these instructions for drop-off:

  • Enter through the Rice Street side of the Central Office building (1st Floor).
  • Once you enter through the doors, you should walk straight ahead to the Information Desk.
  • Proposals are accepted at the Information Desk only. The receptionist will call the Project Manager to come down and to time stamp the proposal.

Submit 2 (two) copies of the proposal.

It is solely the responsibility of each responder to assure that their proposal is delivered at the specific place, in the specific format, and prior to the deadline for submission. Failure to abide by these instructions for submitting a proposal may result in the disqualification of any non-complying proposal.

  • Each proposal should not exceed $2,000.00 (two thousand dollars and zero cents) per certified small business per State Fiscal Year pending availability of funds.

General Information

Responders must adhere to all terms of this RFP.  All costs incurred in responding to this RFP will be borne by the responder.

MnDOT Not Obligated To Complete Project

This RFP does not obligate MnDOT to award a Contract or complete the project, and MnDOT reserves the right to cancel the solicitation if it is considered to be in its best interest.

Proposal Certifications

By submitting a Proposal, responders warrant that the information provided is true, correct and reliable for purposes of evaluation for potential Contract award. The submission of inaccurate or misleading information may be grounds for disqualification from Contract award and may subject the responder to suspension or debarment proceedings, as well as other remedies available to MnDOT, by law.

Public Data

Per Minn. Stat. § 13.599

  • Names and addresses of grant applicants will be public data once proposal responses are opened.
  • All remaining data in proposal responses (except trade secret data as defined and classified in §13.37) will be public data after the evaluation process is completed (for the purposes of this grant, when all grant agreements have been fully executed).
  • All data created or maintained by MnDOT as part of the evaluation process (except trade secret data as defined and classified in § 13.37) will be public data after the evaluation process is completed (for the purposes of this grant, when all grant agreements have been fully executed).

Affidavit of Noncollusion

Responders must complete the attached “Affidavit of Noncollusion” and submit it as part of the proposal.

Conflicts of Interest

  • Responders must provide a list of all entities with which it has relationships that create, or appear to create, a conflict of interest with the work that is contemplated in this RFP. This list should indicate the name of the entity, the relationship and a discussion of the conflict. Responders must complete the attached “Conflict of Interest Checklist and Disclosure Form” and submit it as part of the proposal.

Organizational Conflicts of Interest

  • The responder warrants that, to the best of its knowledge and belief, and except as otherwise disclosed, there are no relevant facts or circumstances, which could give rise to organizational conflicts of interest. An organizational conflict of interest exists when, because of existing or planned activities or because of relationships with other persons, a vendor is unable or potentially unable to render impartial assistance or advice to MnDOT, or the successful responder’s objectivity in performing the Contract work is or might be otherwise impaired, or the successful responder has an unfair competitive advantage. The responder agrees that, if after award, an organizational conflict of interest is discovered, an immediate and full disclosure in writing must be made to MnDOT, which must include a description of the action, which the successful responder has taken or proposes to take to avoid or mitigate such conflicts. If an organizational conflict of interest is determined to exist, MnDOT may, at its discretion, cancel the Contract. In the event the responder was aware of an organizational conflict of interest prior to the award of the Contract and did not disclose the conflict to MnDOT, MnDOT may terminate the Contract for default. The provisions of this clause must be included in all subcontracts for work to be performed similar to the service provided by the prime contractor, and the terms “contract,” “contractor,” and “contracting officer” modified appropriately to preserve MnDOT’s rights.

Financial Review Process

  • All Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) applying for grants in the state of Minnesota must undergo a financial review prior to a grant award made of $25,000 and higher. In order to comply with Policy on the Financial Review of Nongovernmental Organizations
  • Please submit one of the following documents with your application, based on the following criteria:
    • Grant applicants with annual income of under $50,000, or who have not been in existence long enough to have a completed IRS Form 990 or audit should submit their most recent board-reviewed financial statements.
    • Grant applicants with total annual revenue of $50,000 or more and less than $750,000 should submit their most recent IRS Form 990.
    • Grant applicants with total annual revenue of over $750,000 should submit their most recent certified financial audit.
Sample Contract

You should be aware of MnDOT’s standard Grant Contract terms and conditions in preparing your response. A sample State of Minnesota Grant Contract is attached for your reference. Much of the language reflected in the Contract is required by statute. If you take exception to any of the terms, conditions or language in the Contract, you must indicate those exceptions in your response to this RFP; certain exceptions may result in your response being disqualified from further review and evaluation. Only those exceptions indicated in your response to this RFP will be available for discussion or negotiation.