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 November 19, 1999

Y2K business program helps businesses respond to failures

Commerce Secretary William M. Daley has announced a new business continuity effort to help small businesses prepare for — and respond to — the year 2000 computer problem.

“Just as any scout knows it is best to be prepared, so should small business owners plan for the `what ifs’ of the Y2K problem,” Daley said. “To small business owners across the nation, I ask a simple question: Are you ready? If not, now is the time to get started.”

Through this new effort, small business owners will be better prepared to recover from any Y2K-related glitches thanks to new information and tools developed by the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a program of the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. These new resources, coupled with existing services such as free technical assistance at the Y2K Help Center for Small Business and free Y2K Self-Help Tool planning software, offer small businesses the tools they need to make it through the year 2000 transition.

Small businesses are advised to:

* Plan ahead. Contingency planning is the process of anticipating how and when systems may fail or face disruptions as a result of Y2K-induced problems. To make this process easier, the Y2K Jumpstart Kit — available free from the Y2K Help Center for Small Business — includes the Y2K Self-Help Tool, contingency planning guide and contingency planning template.

* Get help. The Y2K Help Center for Small Business offers assistance in English and Spanish between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. The Help Center can be reached at 800-Y2K-7557 (925-7557), by e-mail at y2khelp@nist.gov, or on the Web at y2khelp.nist.gov. For assistance in communities across the country, small business owners can contact their local NIST MEP center at 800-MEP-4MFG, reach a local SBA office by calling 800-8-ASK-SBA, or get in touch with the nearest USDA Cooperative Extension office by checking local listings.

* Respond quickly if an unexpected problem occurs. Rapid response strategies are time-critical, action-oriented, damage control and recovery procedures that are designed to help businesses quickly mitigate losses and address Y2K failures. While not a substitute for prior planning, the Rapid Response Tool can assist anyone facing a Y2K failure, and its accompanying Rapid Response Sourcebook contains information on Y2K problems and fixes for hardware, software, and embedded systems that are commonly used in small businesses and manufacturers.

* Both the software and the sourcebook are available free online at y2khelp.nist.gov.

Commerce Secretary William M. Daley has announced a new business continuity effort to help small businesses prepare for — and respond to — the year 2000 computer problem.

“Just as any scout knows it is best to be prepared, so should small business owners plan for the `what ifs’ of the Y2K problem,” Daley said. “To small business owners across the nation, I ask a simple question: Are you ready? If not, now is the time to get started.”

Through this new effort, small business owners will be better prepared to recover from any Y2K-related glitches thanks to new information and tools…

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