As part of the university’s overall mission of economic development, the Department of Small Business Inclusion (SBI) and Facilities Planning Design and Construction (PD&C) have partnered to enhance the Small Public Works (SPW) program to ensure small, diverse businesses receive a fair opportunity to do work with UAB. “This program is good for our local economy, and it’s also good for us to have more resources and options for project delivery,” said Greg Parsons, Assistant Vice President of PD&C. “And the more competition we have, the more value we add for our customers.”

Construction projects of less than $50,000 are called SPW projects. SPW projects, which also include design or space changes, are handled via the SPW process. “We have three to four times as many SPW projects as Large Public Works (LPW) projects, which is one of several reasons why we’re doing this,” Parsons said. PD&C is working with SBI and Kemp Management Solutions (KMS) to ensure SPW projects receive competitive bids from a range of contractors.

SBI is serving to facilitate and connect with the business community. The group is key in presenting opportunities to small, diverse businesses, and providing KMS with details about those businesses.

KMS is compiling a comprehensive list of businesses interested in providing these SPW projects. Once a project’s scope and design have been approved, the project will go to KMS and they will contact contractors to receive bids on the project. “We intend to contact interested firms on a rotating basis in order to distribute work in a broad manner,” Parsons said.

It’s important to note any business can submit information to be included on the list of businesses, and KMS will ensure the list is rotated so businesses receive fair opportunities to bid on projects. All data regarding this process will be cataloged and can be referenced. Since the program began in September, 50 percent of the bid SPW projects have been awarded to small, diverse business contractors.