Request for Proposals (RFP): Strategic Plan & Economic and Market Analysis

AAEDC is a 501(c)3 quasi-government nonprofit organization. Its mission is to support business and serve as a catalyst for business growth in Anne Arundel County thereby increasing job opportunities, expanding the tax base, and improving quality of life. AAEDC provides investment and technical assistance and fosters community revitalization efforts. 

AAEDC recognizes the need for a strategic roadmap that aligns with the aspirations and priorities of our stakeholders while addressing economic challenges and opportunities. Economic development intersects with many factors that underpin healthy communities, such as housing supply, crime and safety, transportation, and access to healthy food. As such, Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) can be called upon to address many issues facing communities, in addition to traditional business attraction, retention, and expansion activities. A strategic plan can serve as a roadmap for the Corporation by identifying top goals and strategic direction and a guide to direct resources and investment. It will allow AAEDC to prioritize initiatives that further the Plan and play a secondary or support role in other areas. 

AAEDC is seeking a qualified firm or partnership of firms (consultant) with knowledge and expertise in strategic planning processes for nonprofit and quasi-governmental organizations, as well as the ability to conduct in-depth economic analysis on local conditions, trends, and resources. As such, this proposal is separated into two sections – one detailing specifications for the Strategic Plan and the other for an Economic & Market Analysis to guide the Strategic plan’s priorities and objectives. Interested firms may apply individually for each project or as a team for both projects. 

AAEDC encourages collaboration among various firms that may have unique strengths and experiences in certain disciplines necessary for successfully completing the project(s) described in this RFP. AAEDC, in its discretion, may select separate respondents for various components of the scope. 

The Strategic Plan will serve as a road map for AAEDC and answer the following questions: 

  1. What activities, beyond those already in place, should AAEDC explore to catalyze economic growth for Anne Arundel County and how may AAEDC diversify its program portfolio accordingly?
  2. Best practices peer review: What resources are similarly situated organizations offering that AAEDC should consider, given the strategic direction set forth in the plan? 
  3. Identify specific industry clusters through which Anne Arundel County is uniquely positioned for growth due to factors of competitive advantage. Are there new industries to target?  How should our BRE programs target high-impact sectors? 
  4. What are the additional financial resources needed to activate the Strategic Plan and how does the organization diversify revenue streams to ensure long-term sustainability?  
  5. Metrics to measure organizational performance and success. 

Strategic Plan Scope of Work

The selected firm or team of firms will be responsible for the following tasks: 

    • Stakeholder Engagement: Develop a stakeholder engagement plan in coordination with AAEDC and conduct comprehensive stakeholder engagement sessions to gather insights, perspectives, and priorities from diverse stakeholders including but not limited to the Board of Directors, businesses, community leaders, partner agencies, and county department leadership. AAEDC will help to staff and market stakeholder sessions, but the Consultant will be responsible for attending and facilitating stakeholder engagement sessions.
  • Data Collection & Analysis: Perform quantitative analysis of economic data, market trends, industry clusters, workforce demographics, and other relevant metrics to inform strategic decision-making and identify areas of competitive advantage.
    • Strategy Development:
      • Using the input of gathered through stakeholder engagement and quantitative data analysis, develop a tailored roadmap outlining short-term and long-term strategies, actionable initiatives, and policy recommendations aimed at fostering economic growth, job creation, and innovation within the business community. 
      • Provide detailed strategies, not currently utilized, to capitalize on each of the top economic generators and catalysts in Anne Arundel County. Specifically, assess incubator programs and resources and position AAEDC to support and/or bolster them to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Identify local assets, knowledge-based resources, and liabilities that will affect economic development. Identify gaps in resources and make recommendations on AAEDC’s role in addressing them.
      • Identify strategies and programs to implement policies and actions in Plan 2040, Anne Arundel County’s General Development Plan.
    • Industry Focus: Utilize data-driven analysis to identify key industries with growth potential and competitive advantage within the region. Provide recommendations with concrete actionable strategies on how AAEDC can support and nurture these industries to maximize economic impact. 
  • Specific, Actionable & Measurable: The strategy will include specific, realistic and actionable recommendations that advance the plan. In addition, the strategy will include a list of key metrics AAEDC can use to measure its strategic progress.
  • Report Presentation: Present findings, recommendations, and the finalized Strategic Plan to AAEDC and its Board of Directors, community leaders, and relevant government agencies. 

Economic and Market Analysis Scope of Work

The selected firm or team of firms will be responsible for developing a quantitative analysis of economic and workforce data and making recommendations on strategies that will guide the Strategic Plan. The Economic and Market Analysis should include at a minimum the following components: 

  • Local economic conditions such as local demographics, employment, unemployment, labor force, wages and income, base industry analysis, job growth, and migration.
    • Real estate and land-use profile, including job/housing ratios and recommendations for achieving jobs/housing balance
  • Current and projected economic activity including; business type, size, age, location, wage levels, and amount of new or potential investment. 
  • Identify economic development strategies to expand the County’s commercial tax base.
  • Identify base sector industries with growth potential to focus AAEDC’s attraction and retention efforts and new or emerging industries to target attraction. Provide recommendations on how to support and grow these industries to maximize economic impact and gain competitive advantage. 

The Economic and Market Analysis should be drafted as a section of the Strategic Plan or in a format compatible with the Strategic Plan. The final document should contain findings and recommendations that inform strategies and actions.

The budget for this section should include the presentation of data findings and recommendations to AAEDC staff, its Board of Directors, and other groups identified through the planning process. 

Proposal Requirements
Interested firms are requested to submit proposals, not to exceed five pages (excluding resumes and attachments) to be evaluated on the following criteria: 

    • Firm Profile: Provide an overview of the firm’s experience, expertise, and qualifications in providing similar services, including examples of prior projects related to economic development, stakeholder engagement, quantitative economic analysis, and non-profit strategic planning. 
    • Approach and Methodology: Outline the proposed approach, methodology, and timeline for conducting stakeholder engagement, data collection, analysis, strategy development, and report presentation. 
  • Team Composition: Specify key personnel who will be involved in the project – including their roles, qualifications, and relevant experience. 
  • Past Performance: Provide examples of similar projects completed by the firm, highlighting successful outcomes and client satisfaction. 
    • Approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Describe the firm’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion in providing the services.
  • Budget & Fee Structure: Present a detailed budget, including all costs associated with the project, deliverables, and proposed fee structure. 
  • Proposal Submission: Proposals must be submitted electronically no later than XXX to Christina Holliday, Chief of Staff, at


  • Deadline for Submissions – by noon Monday, July 8th 
  • Interviews with Top Ranked Firms – August 7th & 8th (afternoon)
  • Project Kickoff- – end of August/early September
  • Plan Completion – end of December- 

Additional Information
For inquiries or clarification regarding this Request for Proposal, please contact Christina Holliday at or 410.222.7410. 

AAEDC reserves the right to accept or reject any proposal and to waive any irregularities or information in the proposal process. Submission of a proposal indicates acceptance of the terms and conditions outlined in the Request for Proposal. 

Leave a Reply