SAINT PAUL — Minnesota small businesses interested in selling their products and services to local, state and federal agencies can get advice and technical assistance at a free workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn.

The workshop is hosted by the Minnesota Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The event will provide a general overview on competing for government contracts; what to expect, where to look for opportunities, as well as available certifications. All interested businesses are invited to participate in the workshop’s morning session, while the afternoon will be more relevant to those interested in the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program.

The HUBZone certification helps small businesses in rural and urban communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. Qualifications for a business to participate include having its principal office in a HUBZone and meeting the SBA’s small business criteria. HUBZones near the conference include the White Earth, Red Lake, and Leech Lake reservations as well as Cass, Clearwater, Hubbard, Mahnomen, Marshall, Pennington and Red Lake counties.

The session will provide the pre-work necessary to get ready for contracting using the HUBZone certification. Also included is an overview of the HUBZone program, along with a discussion of the program eligibility, benefits, and how to become certified. HUBZone-certified and potential HUBZone vendors will have the chance to talk directly with attending federal agency representatives. To register, visit http://bit.ly/HUBZone-Mahnomen.