Economic Development Market Analysis & Action Plan Matrix
The City of Saco is seeking proposals from qualified and experienced firms to
conduct a Market Analysis and Action Plan Matrix to guide economic
development policies and strategies in Saco. The selected consultant must be
an expert in economic development, specifically in conducting market analyses
processes, analyzing existing data, and determining projections to develop an
action plan matrix. The Action Plan Matrix will identify priorities and
catalytic strategies to help leverage targeted growth and maximize economic
return, including public and private investments. The matrix will also
provide tangible recommendations to help guide Saco’s future. The action plan
component of this project is not a comprehensive economic development
strategic plan. (A separate RFP will be developed for that process at a later
date; and may or may not be awarded to the same firm selected for this project.)
Any questions regarding the project specifications should be directed to Denise Clavette, Planning and Development Director, by emailing DClavette@sacomaine.org.
The attached response form must be completed and included with your proposal. Failure to submit a complete package will nullify your proposal. The City of Saco reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals or negotiate with a proposer following the public opening without right or recourse by vendors, if it is in the best interest of the City to do so.
The City of Saco is sales tax exempt.
RFP Circulation Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Proposal Submission Due Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2020
The City of Saco is seeking proposals from qualified and experienced firms to conduct a Market Analysis and Action Plan Matrix to guide economic development policies and strategies in Saco. The selected consultant must be an expert in economic development, specifically in conducting market analyses processes, analyzing existing data, and determining projections to develop an action plan matrix. The Action Plan Matrix will identify priorities and catalytic strategies to help leverage targeted growth and maximize economic return, including public and private investments. The matrix will also provide tangible recommendations to help guide Saco’s future. The action plan component of this project is not a comprehensive economic development strategic plan. (A separate RFP will be developed for that process at a later date; and may or may not be awarded to the same firm selected for this project.)
The City of Saco is a service center community within the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford Metropolitan Statistical Area (pop. 523,874). Access to Saco is convenient and multi-modal, via I-95, U.S. Route 1, the Amtrak Downeaster, and the Eastern Trail. Saco is a 20-minute drive from Maine’s largest city, Portland, and a one hour, 45-minute drive from Boston.
The estimated 2017 population of 19,485 , makes Saco the 10th largest community in Maine . The Saco Industrial Park, Spring Hill Industrial Park, and the Mill Brook Business Park host a variety of office, technology, light industrial and distribution businesses. Ground has been broken for a new City-owned business park off of U.S. Route 1, within the federal Opportunity Zone established in May 2018.
Saco’s historic downtown is one of many distinctive features that draw new
residents and visitors. Two National Register historic districts encompass a
variety of 19th and 20th century industrial, commercial and residential
buildings in a downtown that borders the Saco River, easily explored via the
City’s River Walk. The City’s coast features miles of sandy beach on
beautiful Saco Bay, including the quiet wonders of Ferry Beach State Park and
the Rachel Carson Preserve. The Saco Heath and Cascade Falls are unique
natural resources accessible thanks to a City-wide trails network.
Saco Main Street, a Main Street America organization, the Biddeford-Saco Chamber of Commerce, and the City’s Planning & Development Department are quick to point to all of the above and more as reasons why Saco – “Friendly by Nature” – is the community of choice for residents, new arrivals, and business relocations.
Project Purpose and Need
The City of Saco’s Planning & Development Department, Economic Development Commission, and City Council are seeking assistance with conducting a Market Analysis and developing an Action Plan Matrix to guide initial economic development strategies.
The City’s Economic Development Commission (EDC) was established to support Saco's economic and community development efforts and to advise the City Council, staff, and community on strategies, programs and policies, funding sources, and various actions that the City should undertake to promote and enhance the City of Saco; to assist City staff to actively pursue, within the goals and guidelines of City Council, commercial and industrial business development/investment for relocation into Saco in order to achieve a balanced tax base; to assist City staff in working with the business community in the retention and expansion of the businesses already within the City; and to promote the City in various manners as an excellent place to live, work, and do business.
The EDC’s objectives include:
- Encouraging and promoting desirable economic development within the City consistent with other ordinances and policies, in order to keep an equitable and diverse tax base.
- Undertaking and supporting activities aimed at enhancing the economic well-being of the community by the promotion of a sustainable economy which will retain and create quality employment opportunities and a broadened tax base for the City and its residents.
- Developing guidelines and recommendations in such areas related to economic development including but not limited to business retention, business attraction, workforce development, the development of infrastructure necessary to support economic growth, redevelopment, and business development,
- Working with other public and private entities and staff to promote the economic well being of the community and perform such other functions as may be appropriate to achieve such goals.
In 2018, the Economic Development Commission and the Planning Board, along with City Planning and Development staff, conducted a prioritization process. This further identified three primary planning and development focus areas, along with strategic and tactical goals:
1. Business Development
a. Business Retention and Expansion
b. Business Attraction and Recruitment
c. Workforce Development
2. Development Collaborations
a. Resources and Grants
b. Marketing and Communications
c. Research and Development
a. Land Use Ordinances
b. Long-Range Planning
c. Planning / Development Review
Scope of Work and Deliverables
The selected consultant will conduct an Economic Development Market Analysis and develop an Action Plan Matrix to support the City of Saco’s efforts in economic development identifying emerging economic development opportunities. The Market Analysis and Action Plan Matrix will:
1) Analyze, evaluate, and address socioeconomic conditions, existing and
future lifestyle trends, community and area market strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, and threats;
2) Engage with community and business officials to gain input on local conditions and needs;
3) Develop a greater understanding of targeted sectors and subsectors that offer opportunities which Saco has an advantage and opportunity to leverage;
4) Evaluate the economic trends within identified sectors;
5) Analyze Saco’s workforce and labor force current and future needs;
6) Evaluate the availability and competitiveness of key sites in Saco;
7) Evaluate market leakage and future potential absorption for residential and commercial growth, with consideration of ongoing and future infrastructure, transportation, and other improvements;
8) Review local policies and practices in support of economic development and recommend short-term and long-term improvements as appropriate;
9) Analyze Saco’s residential market and the City’s housing policies and provide recommendations to help ensure appropriate housing to support a robust workforce.
The Action Plan Matrix will identify priorities and catalytic strategies to help leverage targeted growth and maximize economic return, including public and private investments. The matrix will also provide tangible recommendations to help guide Saco’s future. Some questions are provided below that exemplify local concerns and conditions, and should be addressed in the Market Analysis and Action Plan Matrix:
- What do Saco’s demographics look like today, and what are the trends? How do Saco’s demographics differ from surrounding communities?
- What business sectors are growing (or contracting) regionally, and how does that affect Saco? What is Saco’s market share and market opportunities within these various sectors?
- What are Saco’s strong business sectors? What sectors are stable? What are the emerging sectors? What should Saco do to nurture these sectors and continue their growth?
- What does the market demand in terms of types of new housing? What are the deficiencies in Saco’s housing stock, including quantity, location, housing type and size, and cost?
- What percentage of the retail market share is Saco gaining from surrounding communities? What are we losing? What is Saco’s niche retail area? Where can Saco gain?
- What are Saco’s opportunity areas? What areas should be targeted for growth? What types of growth should Saco place its focus on currently and in the future?
- Are there other areas that should be considered for development and growth?
- Which businesses are best suited for our downtown, business parks, and other geographic locations within the City?
Outcomes of the Market Analysis and Action Plan Matrix will be used by the
City Council, EDC, the Planning & Development Department, other City
departments, existing and future businesses, and the public. Key findings and
Action Plan Matrix will be added to the future economic development strategic
plan (to be developed); and will be used to make public and private
The Planning & Development Department will be responsible for:
1) Administering the project and overseeing the consultant’s work on this project;
2) Providing relevant studies, plans, and initiatives;
3) Economic Development Commission and assisting with coordinating public meetings;
4) Assisting with other community outreach.
The budget for this project is $35,000, inclusive of expenses.
From the complete proposals received before the deadline, finalists may be selected to present their respective proposals to the selection committee for review. Finalists shall be scored and ranked based on criteria that include but are not limited to:
- Technical approach to the project;
- Professional qualifications of key personnel;
- Previous experience and proven performance with similar projects;
- Public participation methods;
- Understanding of project purposes;
- Ability to meet schedules and budgets;
- Current workload and availability of necessary personnel;
- Estimated costs and the flexibility to adjust the proposed work program to meet budgetary constraints;
- Quality and clarity of presentation, if applicable;
- Other factors deemed relevant by the selection committee.
Following the selection process, City staff will negotiate an agreement with
the top ranked respondent.
Submissions must be received hard copy/electronically by Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 11 AM.
Submit one printed proposal in a sealed package clearly labeled with the consultant’s name and address; and email a PDF version to Denise Clavette:
City of Saco
ATTN: Denise M. Clavette
Director, Planning & Development Department
300 Main Street
Saco, Maine 04072
Proposals shall not be returned and will become property of the City of Saco. Your proposal must include responses to all requirements contained within this RFP. By submitting a proposal, your firm agrees to all applicable provisions, terms and conditions associated with this RFP. This RFP, your submitted proposal, all appendices and attachments (if applicable), and stated terms and conditions may become part of the resulting contract.
Questions regarding the proposal specifications should be directed to Denise Clavette at email@example.com All questions must be submitted in writing no later than Wednesday, January 29, 2020. Questions and answers regarding the RFP may be shared with all consultants known to be interested in submitting a proposal.
The City of Saco reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals, and at its discretion, may select a firm outright or select a finalist(s) for in-person and/or telephone interviews.
RFP Available: Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Proposals DUE: Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Optional Interviews: Monday/Tuesday, February 10-11, 2020
Consultant Selected: Friday, February 14, 2020
Contract Commences: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Project Completion Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Full package here