The U.S. General Services Administration and other federal agencies have procurement preference goals for contracting with small businesses.

These goals can be the path to doing business with federal agencies for firms that fall into one of the qualifying categories: small; small disadvantaged; Section 8(a); woman-owned small; HUBZone small; veteran-owned small; and service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses.

The New Jersey Small Business Development Center at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey on Thursday will help local business owners find out whether they qualify for a federal procurement preference program at a free workshop in Atlantic City.

Businesses will learn how the preference programs can jump-start their federal contracting business and about the application process for the preference programs.

Culinary fundraiser

The Professional Chef's Association of South Jersey will hold its delicious fundraiser, Chefs at the Shore, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Historic Gardner's Basin in Atlantic City.

Part of Professional Chefs Week, the event attracts local celebrity chefs from casino and regional restaurants, and proceeds fund scholarships for culinary students and for educational programming at the Atlantic City Aquarium.

Chefs at the Shore will feature signature dishes from area restaurants, cooking demonstrations, live music, a silent auction and and open bar with beer and wine.

One of the award-winning chefs participating will be Demetrios Haronis, the association's 2013 Chef of the Year and executive chef of FIN in Tropicana Casino and Resort. He won the 2012 New Jersey State Seafood Challenge.

Haronis grew up in Wildwood and Cape May, and attended the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College. He worked in restaurants from Cape May to Longport, joining Tropicana in 1994.

If you go

The Small Business Development Center at Stockton College will present a workshop, Federal Procure-ment Preference Programs, from

9 a.m. to noon Thursday at the Carnegie Center, 35 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Atlantic City. Free, but registration is required. Call 609-347-2174.

Chefs at the Shore will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Historic Gardner's Basin in Atlantic City. Tickets are $60 at the Atlantic City Aquarium, or email michelle@acaquarium.com or call 609-348-2880, ext. 25.