Want to sell Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools some pencils? Business owners wanting to work with CMS and other government agencies are invited to attend “Access 2009: Gateway to Government Procurement Opportunities.”

The half-day conference will focus on working with state and local government entities, upcoming opportunities, and developing business and small-business tax programs. General contractors will be able to meet subcontractors interested in partnering on projects.

The conference is free. It will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at UNC Charlotte’s Cone University Center (9201 University City Blvd.). To register by the April 22 deadline, call (980) 343-0677 or e-mail govaccess@cms.k12.nc.us.

“Whether constructing a new office building, purchasing office supplies, printing brochures or catering a conference, government agencies call on business owners to compete for the business,” said Chiquitha Lloyd, administrator of CMS’ Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprise Program (M/W/SBE). “But many business owners aren’t sure where to begin in order to do business with state and local governments.”

Representatives from the state Department of Transportation and Office for Historically Underutilized Business will assist business owners with state registration and certification. They will also provide information regarding state opportunities.

Other agencies participating in the conference include: Self-Help Credit Union, Small Business & Technology Development Center, Small Business Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. Each agency will provide an overview of its requirements for contractors, giving conference participants the opportunity to interact with key buyers from each agency.