A free event designed to help small businesses understand the federal procurement process is coming to Washington for the first time.

The event – called “Getting Back to Business” – will be hosted by the City of Tacoma's Minority Business Development Agency Business Center, in partnership with the University of Puget Sound and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. It will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 18 in the Memorial Fieldhouse, at the south end of the UPS campus on North 11th Street.

“This event has been conducted in other states, and it has greatly benefited small businesses around the country, so now we're bringing it to Tacoma where small businesses are really at the heart of our local economy,” said MBDA Director Linda Womack.

“If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur in Tacoma, I encourage you to attend and take part in the exciting and information-packed plenary session, workshops, matchmaking and counseling sessions we have planned.”

Staff from the City's MBDA Business Center and the University of Puget Sound will be present, along with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services representatives and representatives from other federal agencies, large prime contractors and small business advocates.

Event registration can be done online or by calling the Tacoma’s Community and Economic Development Department at 253-591-5240.