The BLA and FRA have not been selected. You can find the RFPs related to these support organizations here. At least one FRA and one BLA will be selected to oversee this program starting August 12, 2020.
Business Liaison Agency (BLA)
The agency should have experience working with businesses, have an extensive understanding of the local business community, be able to function as the point of contact for all public interactions related to the Warren-SBG Program, be available to help businesses fill out their application and collect the necessary paperwork, have the ability to evaluate business agencies based on general business practices, and have the tools to properly market the Warren-SBG Program so that the maximum number of organizations are aware of and have access to the program. The BLA will be selected as part of an RFP process to take place in July.
All news releases, interviews, public interactions, social media content and traditional media coordination for the Warren-SBG Program will be handled by the Business Liaison Agency with some help from the County Government.
Within a short timeframe, the Business Liaison Agency will be in charge of promotion fo the program including print advertising, social media advertising, radio, print materials including flyers, and other forms of promotion to make the community and specifically the business community aware of the program. The Business Liaison Agency will have the autonomy to use what they believe are the best tools available to market and promote the Warren-SBG Program.
All applications will run through the Business Liaison Agency. Forms will be made available on the County website and the BLA’s website for download and printing. The BLA will be responsible for circulating print applications as requested. The BLA will be responsible for coordinating with the Financial Review Agency to forward information and follow up with applicants to make sure all required documentation is provided.
All applications will be reviewed by the BLA as well as the Financial Review Agency. Although both agencies will provide observations based on the criteria outlined by the County, the BLA will also provide additional qualitative data based on its experience working with businesses and based on best business practices. This qualitative data should be in written form and be of an objective nature. The qualitative data provided by the BLA will be mixed with the overall quantitative data in the final determination by the Commissioners.
Copies of all documents and correspondence generated and collected as part of the Warren-SBG Program must be turned over to the County Office of Finance and Administration within 30 days of the conclusion of the program. The BLA will then be required to retain copies of the documentation for at least 7 years after the close of the Warren-SBG Program for retention and auditing purposes.
The FRA should have experience reviewing financial documents, understand general accounting principles, and have a record of high ethical standards as it relates to finances. Although the BLA will be doing its own review, the FRA will be focused entirely on the financial aspect of the applications and performing a checklist to make sure all financial data has been received and that the applicants are compliant based on the parameters outlined by the County. There may be more than one FRA working as a consultant on this project. The FRA(s) will be selected by the Commissioners as part of an RFP process to take place in July, 2020.
The Financial Review Agency will work closely with the BLA to collect documentation and review checklists provided by the County to make sure all necessary documents are collected and interested applicants are given every opportunity to provide information and be considered as part of the program. The FRA will not have any direct interaction with the public, but function purely in a support role working directly with the BLA. It will be the BLA’s responsibility to divide responsibilities if there’s more than one FRA approved.
All documents and correspondence generated and collected by the FRA must be provided to the BLA within 30 days of the close of the program (see Section 9). The BLA will be responsible for holding copies of all materials during the required 7-year period for review and auditing purposes.
The County Auditing Agency, Zelenkofske Axelrod LLC, will be working with all agencies (BLA, FRA, OFA) as an informational consultant and will be available to answer questions related to regulations, and work in a support role for all CARES related issues.