RFP - Micro-Loan Program











Professional Services

Proposal Submission

Pre-Proposal Conference

Proposer’s Clarification


Workmen’s Compensation and Public Liability and Property Damage Insurance

Equal Employment Opportunity

Alterations or Modifications


Right to Audit Records

Employment of Certain Persons Prohibited

Dissemination of Information

Business Privilege Tax


Observance of Laws, Ordinances and Regulations

Withdrawal of Proposals

Proposal Rejection

Execution of Contract

Contract Termination

Scope of Services

Information Required With Proposals


Evaluation of Proposals

Assignment of Key Staff

Selection Committee

Questions Regarding Specifications


Non-Collusion Affidavit

Non-Discrimination Statement




The City of Reading’s Community Development (CD) Department is seeking proposals to provide loan underwriting services for loans that CD will make available to businesses through its Micro-Loan Program as well as technical assistance for prospective applicants to ensure a higher percentage of success in the application process. CD aims to provide loans to ten (10) businesses over the course of a twelve (12) month period. Through a competitive application process, creditworthy businesses will be awarded loans between

$1,000 and $35,000. Assistance is being sought to provide underwriting, business plan analysis, credit analysis, and loan packaging services for these loans.


Proposals will be received by the City of Reading until 3:00 p.m., prevailing time, on September 22, 2017 in the Office of the Purchasing Coordinator, 815 Washington Street, Room 2-45, Reading, PA 19601.




The original proposal and four (4) copies as well as an electronic copy shall be submitted in a sealed envelope that shall plainly indicate on it the title of the proposal and the date for receiving. This shall be delivered to the City Purchasing Coordinator, Rm. 2-45, City Hall, 815 Washington Street, Reading, PA, until 3:00 P.M., prevailing time on September 22, 2017. The envelope shall be clearly labeled as Micro-Loan Program – Business Loan Underwriting Services.


Proposals received at the Office of the Purchasing Coordinator after the hour specified will not be considered. Proposers are invited to be present at the RFP opening.




There will not be a pre-proposal meeting.




By submitting a proposal, the proposer certifies that the RFP has been fully read and that the proposer understands the proposal method and has full knowledge of the scope, nature and quality of work to be performed.




The Successful Proposer, at the time of execution of the contact, shall furnish the City with the insurance certificate of adequate limits, as later indicated, to protect the City of Reading, its agents, and employees, from any litigation involving Worker's Compensation, Public Liability and Property Damage, involved in the work. All subcontractors must also furnish copies of their liability insurance and Workmen's Compensation insurance certificates to the City. No subcontractor will be allowed to perform any work under this contract by the City unless such certificates are submitted to and approved by the City beforehand.




The status of the Proposer in the work to be performed is that of any independent Proposer and as such, shall properly safeguard against any and all injury or damage to the public, to public and private property, materials and things, and as such shall be responsible for any and all damage, loss or injury to persons or property that may arise, or be incurred, in or during the conduct or progress of said work without regard to whether or not the Proposer, sub-contractors, agents, or employees have been negligent, and the Proposer shall keep the City free and discharged of and from any and all responsibility and liability therefore of any sort or kind. The Proposer shall assume all responsibility for risks or casualties of every description, for any or all damage, loss or injury to persons or property arising out of the nature of the work from the action of the elements, or from any unforeseen or unusual difficulty, including all legal defense costs incurred by the City. The Proposer shall assume and be liable for all blame and loss of whatsoever nature by reason of neglect or violation of any Federal, State, County or Local laws, regulations, or ordinances; the Proposer shall indemnify and hold harmless the City from all suits or actions at law of any kind whatsoever in connection with this work and shall if required by the City, produce evidence of settlement of any such action before final payment shall be made by the City. Proposer's Liability Insurance Certificate shall include the save harmless clause and shall be filed with the City.


The Proposer shall maintain such insurance as will protect the Proposer from claims under worker's compensation acts and from claims for damages because of bodily injury, including death, and property damage, which may arise from and during operations under this Contract, whether such operations be by himself, by any subcontractor or anyone directly or indirectly employed by either of them. Proposer's liability insurance shall be in the names of the Proposer and the City as their respective interests may appear. Each policy and Certificate of Insurance shall contain an endorsement naming the City of Reading as additionally insured. Certificates of such insurance shall be filed with the City.


The minimum amount of liability insurance to be maintained by the Contractor during the life of the contract shall be as follows:


Comprehensive General Liability – for bodily injury and property damage – including any liability normally covered by a general liability policy with limits of not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 in the annual aggregate.


Professional Liability – in minimum amounts of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate.


Prior to commencement of performance of this Agreement, Contractor shall furnish to the City a certificate of insurance evidencing all required coverage in at least the limits required herein, naming the City of Reading, its elected officials, agents, and employees as additional insureds under the Comprehensive General Liability coverage, and providing that no policies may be modified or cancelled without thirty (30) days advance written notice to the City. Such certificate shall be issued to: City of Reading, 815 Washington Street, Reading, PA 19601. All policies shall be in effect with companies holding an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or better and shall be licensed to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Such companies shall also be acceptable to the City.


Please forward a certificate of insurance verifying these insurance requirements. All subcontractors performing work under this contract must furnish to the City a copy of their Certificate of Insurance for Workmen’s Compensation and liability for bodily injury and property damage.




During the performance of this Contract, the Proposer agrees as follows:


The Proposer will not discriminate against any employees or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The Proposer will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Such action shall include, but not be limited to, the following: employment, upgrading, demotion, or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation; and selection for training, including apprenticeship. The Proposer agrees to post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment, notices which may be provided by the City setting forth the provisions of this nondiscrimination clause.


The Proposer will, in all solicitations or advertisements for employees placed by or on behalf of the Proposer, state that all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.


In the event of the Proposer’s noncompliance with the non-discrimination clauses of this Contract or with any of the said rules, regulations, or orders, this Contract may be canceled, terminated, or suspended in whole, or in part and the Proposer may be declared ineligible for further City contracts.


The Proposer will include the provisions of these paragraphs in every subcontract or purchase order unless exempted.




No person who, at the time, is serving sentence in a penal or correctional institution shall be employed on the work covered by this Contract.




This Contract will be under the direct supervision of the City or its authorized representatives. Any alterations or modifications of the work performed under this Contract shall be made only by written agreement between the Proposer and the City authorized representatives and shall be made prior to commencement of the altered or modified work. No claims for extra work or materials shall be allowed unless covered by written agreement.




The Proposer will not be allowed to subcontract work under this Contract unless written approval is granted by the City. The Sub-proposer, as approved, shall be bound by the conditions of the Contract between the City and the Proposer. The authorization of a Sub-proposer is to perform in accordance with all terms of the Contract and Scope of Services. All required notices, work orders, directives, and requests for emergency services will be directed to the Proposer. All directions given to the Sub-proposer in the field shall bind the Proposer as if the notice had been given directly to the Proposer.




The City shall be entitled to audit the books and records of a Proposer or any Sub-proposer to the extent that such books and records relate to the performance of such Contract or Subcontract. Such books and records shall be maintained by the Proposer for a period of three (3) years from the date of final payment under the prime contract and by the Sub-proposer for a period of three (3) years from the date of final payment under the Subcontract unless a shorter period is otherwise authorized in writing.




During the term of the resulting Contract, the successful Proposer may not release any information related to the services or performance of services under the Contract, nor publish any report or documents relating to the City, the account or performance of services under the agreement without prior written consent of the City; and shall indemnify and hold harmless the City, its officers, agents, and employees from all liability which may be incurred by reason of dissemination, publication and distribution, or circulation, in any manner whatsoever, of any information, data, documents, or material pertaining to the City, the account or the Contract by the Proposer or its agents or employees.




The City of Reading imposes a Business Privilege License at $55.00 per calendar year. In addition, a Business Privilege Tax is imposed at the service rate of 2.25 mills upon the gross receipts attributable to business conducted within the City of Reading.




The Proposer shall, at its expense, pay all fees and procure all necessary licenses and permits needed to conduct the work required under the terms of this Contract. The Proposer shall give any and all necessary formal notices required in conjunction with the lawful prosecution of the work of this Contract.




The Proposer at all times during the term of this Contract shall observe and abide by all Federal, State, and Local laws which in any way affect the conduct of the work and shall comply with all decrees and orders of courts of competent jurisdiction. The Proposer shall comply fully and completely with any and all applicable State and Federal statutes, rules and regulations as they relate to the hiring, wages, and any other applicable conditions of employment.




Proposers will be given permission to withdraw any proposals after they have been received by the City's Purchasing Coordinator at his/her office, provided said request is in writing and properly signed or by telegram and is received at least two (2) hours prior to the time and date set for the opening. Request by telegram must be confirmed in writing, properly signed, which must be delivered within twenty-four (24) hours of the time and date set for the opening. No proposals may be withdrawn for a period of ninety (90) days following the formal opening and receipt of proposals by the City of Reading.



The City of Reading reserves the right to reject any or all proposals and to accept or reject any part of any proposal. It also reserves the right to waive any technical defects or minor irregularities, which in its discretion, is in the best interest of the City.




The successful Proposer shall, within ten (10) calendar days after mailing of contract documents by the City to the Principal, enter into contract with the City.


The Contract, when executed, shall be deemed to include the entire agreement between the parties; the Proposer shall not base any claim for modification of the Contract upon any prior representation or promise made by the representatives or the City, or other persons. All attachments are considered as part of this document.




The City shall have the right to terminate a Contract or a part thereof before the work is completed in the event:


  1. Previous unknown circumstances arise making it desirable in the public interest to void the Contract.


  2. The Proposer is not adequately complying with the specifications.


  3. The Proposer refuses, neglects, or fails to supply properly trained or skilled supervisory personnel and/or workers or proper equipment.


  4. The Proposer in the judgment of the City is unnecessarily or willfully delaying the performance and completion of the work.


  5. The Proposer refuses to proceed with work when and as directed by the City.


  6. The Proposer abandons the work.




Micro-Loan Program - Business Loan Underwriting Services


The City of Reading’s Micro-Loan Program was established using Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development loan repayment funds to provide financial assistance to eligible businesses located in the City by offering direct loans. The minimum loan amount will be $1,000, and loans will not exceed $35,000. An application fee will be charged. The program will give special consideration to City businesses that have the capacity to create jobs and/or are owned by women, minorities, and low to moderate income individuals. Proceeds from the loan may be used only for working capital, inventory (materials and supplies), equipment, and furniture. The loan may not be used to finance real estate or to refinance existing debt. Loans are structured as term loans fully amortizing over a maximum of five (5) years at an interest rate set by the City. Loans generally will be secured by collateral and/or personal guarantees. Revolving lines of credit will not be offered.

The City’s Community Development (CD) Department is seeking proposals to provide loan underwriting services for loans that CD will make available to businesses through its Micro-Loan Program as well as technical assistance for prospective applicants to ensure a higher percentage of success in the application process. CD aims to provide loans to ten (10) businesses over the course of a twelve (12) month period. Through a competitive application process, creditworthy businesses will be awarded loans between $1,000 and $35,000. Assistance is being sought to provide underwriting, business plan analysis, credit analysis, and loan packaging services for these loans.


Among creditworthy businesses, priority will be given to businesses that meet one or more of the following criteria:


  • A commitment to creating jobs as a result of this assistance


  • Located in the Downtown Improvement District Area


  • Minority or Women-Owned Business Enterprise


    CD will solicit for and review preliminary applications for serving the Micro-Loan Program, and depending on the quality of these applications, invite businesses to submit a full application, at which point the selected organization will provide technical assistance to prospective applicants to ensure that submissions are complete and include appropriate documentation. The expected length of this contract is twelve (12) months, with an expectation that the contract will be extended as loan monies are repaid and CD has the capacity to offer additional loans.


    Applications for servicing this Micro-Loan Program must meet the following criteria:


  • Familiarity with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development regulations related to the program


  • Located in the City or be able to travel to the City to meet with CD staff and/or City businesses as needed


  • Demonstrated depth of experience in credit analysis and underwriting of business loans


  • Agreement to review 20 applications and accompanying documents, financial information, and other materials over the course of a twelve (12) month period at maximum


  • Agreement to meet with applicants and/or visit the businesses of applicants as necessary to complete due diligence and analysis of applications


  • Agreement to provide a report to CD recommending credit approval or denial based on credit analysis, business plan analysis, and general analysis of quality of applications in order to assist CD in making loan decisions. The selected organization would also be expected to pull applicants’ credit reports to assist in analysis of applications and search UCC filings. Additionally, the selected organization would be expected to prepare a commitment letter or letter of decline for CD to deliver to applicant.


  • Agreement to provide loan underwriting and loan packaging services for each loan made as part of the project.

  • Agreement to prepare loan closing documents on behalf of the City, including documents such as promissory notes, security agreements, personal guarantees, and UCC filings. The selected organization will determine which instruments are appropriate to secure the loan on a case-by-case basis. The organization will close loans and provide appropriate legal services. The organization will also handle defaults.


  • Agreement to be responsive to CD staff and maintain open lines of communication throughout the project, including City Administrative Services staff, in order to coordinate loan closing and financial management tasks.


    Bidders must comply with all provisions of state law, including having a good standing status with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Reading. Responses to this Request For Proposal (RFP) should include the following:


  • Description of organization including length of time in existence, contact person, address, telephone number, and email address


  • Resumes of staff who will provide underwriting services for the program, loan application review, and credit analysis. Documentation must include qualifications of staff who will be implementing the project or be responsible for financial management of the project, as well as any subcontracted consultants. Additionally, documentation must include the percentage of time each staff member will be spending on the project, as well as the primary point of contact.


  • Description of organization’s experience with loan processing, loan underwriting, credit analysis, and loan packaging. Documentation must Identify any skills, current services offered, and accomplishments that demonstrate capacity for success. Additionally, documentation must include any experience in business loan underwriting and level of familiarity with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s regulations.


  • Three (3) references who have knowledge of organization’s recent work in the areas listed above


  • Proposed schedule of work and milestones for completion


  • Description of any exceptions proposed in the Scope of Work


  • Lawsuits filed against the organization in the previous three (3) years, and descriptions of any pending litigation related to the types of services mentioned in this RFP


  • A proposed per-application cost for business plan analysis, credit analysis, loan-underwriting and loan package preparation. Cost should be based on an hourly budget, including a schedule of hourly rates for each employee of the organization that will be involved with implementation of this project.


  • As CD aims to provide loans to ten (10) businesses, indicate organization’s capacity to handle this range of loan volume, and provide budget estimates for this range.


  • To receive consideration, proposals must be signed by an authorized employee.

    The City will review proposals for compliance with submission criteria, inclusion of required content, feasibility of implementation, capacity, and experience and qualifications of underwriting staff. The City reserves the right to contact applicants with further questions or to clarify details of proposals. The City intends to select one organization to provide underwriting services as part of this project.


    CD will solicit for and review preliminary applications, and depending on the quality of these applications invite businesses to submit a full application, which includes a loan application; full business plan (to include narrative; financial data and supporting documents); and personal financial statement. The selected organization will provide technical assistance to prospective applicants to ensure that submissions are complete and include the required documentation. Technical assistance will primarily include working with the applicant to make sure all documents are completed properly and a business plan and financial data are complete.


    As outlined in the Scope of Work, the selected organization must pull applicant credit reports and thoroughly review applications; financial information; business plans; and any other accompanying information in order to analyze the financial situation and soundness of the business for recommendation of credit approval or denial. In the course of the analysis, if the selected organization determines that additional information is needed to better understand the financial position and soundness of the business, they should use their discretion in determining how best to obtain this information. For example, it might be necessary to visit the business to review equipment and inventory.


    The selected organization will prepare loan closing documents and handle document recordings. The organization shall prepare program guidelines, loan policies, and procedures in accordance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s requirements.


    The selected organization will be accessible and available to meet in-person with businesses and CD staff. We anticipate that there may be applicants who are not digitally fluent and will need in-person support in completing the application process. It may be necessary for the selected organization to visit the business in the course of analyzing a loan application.


    The City will make its selection based on the following criteria:


  • How organization addresses the Scope of Work - 30 points maximum


  • Experience in loan underwriting and loan packaging - 25 points maximum


  • Experience in business loan underwriting and understanding of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development guidelines and monitoring compliance -15 points maximum


  • Accessibility to program applicants and City staff - 15 points maximum


  • Budget and overall value – the most experienced people doing the most work - 10 points maximum the most competitive price


  • Capacity to process a range in volume of applications - 5 points maximum



The key member(s) of the Contract identified must be assigned to the Contract and must remain assigned to the Contract for its duration, unless the City agrees in writing to modify the assignment. If a key member leaves during the course of the Contract, the City must be notified immediately, and the Contractor must submit the replacements name and credentials for approval by the City prior to that person starting work on the Contract.




A Selection Committee will be established to review and evaluate all proposals submitted in response to this Request for Proposals (RFP). The Committee shall conduct a preliminary evaluation of all proposals based on the information provided. The Committee will first review each proposal for compliance with the minimum qualifications and mandatory requirements of the RFP. Failure to comply with any mandatory requirements may disqualify a proposal.




To ensure fair consideration for all Proposers, the City prohibits communication to or with any department director, division manager or employee during the submission process with the exception of those questions relative to interpretation of specifications or the proposal process. No interpretations of the meaning of the RFP documents will be made to any bidder orally.


Every request for such interpretation shall be in writing to the City of Reading Purchasing Office, and to be given consideration must be received in writing prior to 10:00 A. M. on September 11, 2017. Direct inquiries to:


Juanita Komoro, Purchasing Coordinator City Hall, Rm. 2-45

815 Washington Street

Reading, PA 19601 EMAIL:Juanita.Komoro@readingpa.gov


Any and all such interpretation will be in the form of an Addendum to the Contract Documents and will be issued to all prospective proposers no later than September 15, 2017.


Additionally, the City prohibits communications initiated by a Proposer to any City Official or employee evaluating or considering the proposals prior to the time an award decision has been made. Any communication between Proposer and the City will be initiated by the appropriate City Official or employee in order to obtain information or clarification needed to develop a proper, accurate evaluation of the proposal. Such communications initiated by a Proposer may be grounds for disqualifying the offending Proposer from consideration for award of the proposal and/or any future proposal.



This Non-Collusion Affidavit is material to any Contract pursuant to this bid. According to the Pennsylvania Anti-Bid Rigging Act, 73 P.S. 1611 et seq., governmental agencies may require Non- Collusion Affidavits to be submitted together with proposals.


This Non-Collusion Affidavit must be executed by the member, officer, or employee of the Proposer who is authorized to legally bind the Proposer.


Bid/Proposal rigging and other efforts to restrain competition, and the making of false sworn statements in connection with the submission of proposals are unlawful and may be subject to criminal prosecution. The person who signs the Affidavit should examine it carefully before signing and assure himself or herself that each statement is true and accurate, making diligent inquiry, as necessary, of all other persons employed by or associated with the Proposer with responsibilities for the preparation, approval, or submission of the bid.


In the case of a proposal submitted by a joint venture, each party to the venture must be identified in the proposal documents, and an Affidavit must be submitted separately on behalf of each party.


The term "complementary bid/proposal" as used in the Affidavit has the meaning commonly associated with that term in the RFP process, and includes the knowing submission of proposals higher than the proposal of another firm, any intentionally high or noncompetitive proposal, and any form of proposal submitted for the purpose of giving a false appearance of competition.


Failure to file an Affidavit in compliance with these instructions will result in disqualification of the proposal.



State of


County of


_, being first duly sworn, deposes and says that:


He/She is of the Proposer that has submitted the attached Proposal;

(Owner, Partner, Officer, Representative or Agent)


He/She is fully informed respecting the preparation and contents of the attached Proposal and of all pertinent circumstances respecting such Proposal;


Such Proposal is genuine and is not a collusive or sham Proposal;


Neither the said Proposer nor any of its officers; partners, owners, agents, representatives, employees or parties in interest, including this Affidavit, has in any way colluded, conspired, connived or agreed, directly or indirectly, with any other Proposer, firm or person to submit a collusive or sham Proposal in connection with the Contract for which the attached Proposal is submitted or to refrain from submitting in connection with such Contract, or has in any manner, directly or indirectly, sought by agreement or collusion or communication of conference with any other Proposer, firm or person to fix the price or prices in the attached Proposal or of any other Proposer, or to fix any overhead, profit or cost element of the Proposal price or the Proposal price of any other Proposer, or to secure through any collusion, conspiracy, connivance or unlawful agreement any advantage against the City of Reading or any person interested in the proposed Contract;


The price or prices quoted in the attached Proposal are fair and proper and are not tainted by any collusion, conspiracy, connivance or unlawful agreement on the part of the Proposer or any of its agents, representatives, owners, employees, or parties in interest, including this Affidavit; and,


Neither the said Proposer nor any of its officers, partners, owners, agents or parties in interest, have any interest, present or prospective, that can be reasonably construed to result in a conflict of interest between them and the City of Reading, which the Proposer will be required to perform.

I state that understands (Name of Firm)


and acknowledges that the above representations are material and important, and will be relied on by the City of Reading in awarding the Contract(s) for which this Bid is submitted. I understand and my firm understands that any misstatement in this Affidavit is and shall be treated as fraudulent concealment from the City of Reading of the true facts relating to the submission of bids for this Contract.


(Name and Company Position)





Notary Public

My Commission Expires:




The undersigned hereby certifies that it shall not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. The undersigned shall take affirmative action to insure that applicants for employment are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.






Provider hereby certifies and represents that Provider and Provider’s parent company(ies) and subsidiary(ies) are not currently indebted to the City of Reading (the “City”), and will not at any time during the term of this Contract (including any extensions or renewals thereof) be indebted to the City, for or on account of any delinquent taxes, liens, judgments, fees or other debts for which no written agreement or payment plan satisfactory to the City has been established. In addition to any other rights or remedies available to the City at law or in equity, Provider acknowledges that any breach or failure to conform to this certification may, at the option of the City, result in the withholding of payments otherwise due to Provider and, if such breach or failure is not resolved to the City’s satisfaction within a reasonable time frame specified by the City in writing, may result in the offset of any such indebtedness against said payments and/or the termination of this Contract for default (in which case Provider shall be liable for all excess costs and other damages resulting from the termination).


Name of Provider



Authorized Signatory



President or Vice President