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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 1999

SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS, MANUFACTURERS URGED TO ATTEND Y2K CONFERENCE

CHICAGO -- Gov. George H. Ryan today invited small business owners and manufacturers to attend a special conference on how to prepare against Year 2000 (Y2K) computer glitches. The conference will be free of charge and will include representatives from federal, state and local government, as well as business organizations.

"Joining with our public and private sector partners will help ensure a comprehensive governmental and business approach to this critical challenge," Ryan said. "The Y2K challenge requires state, federal and local government agencies to not only become Y2K ready, but also to coordinate compliance with large and small businesses that may be supplying their services to government agencies. "

The Illinois Technology Office and DCCA are working in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Chicago Computer Society to co-sponsor the conference, which is entitled The Millennium Bug: Its Impact on the Business Community. The conference will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 31st in the Assembly Hall Auditorium of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago.

"As advocates for small business, we at DCCA are working diligently to bring the latest information available to Illinois businesses and manufacturers to help them meet this challenge with minimal disruption of services and productivity loss," said Acting DCCA Director Pam McDonough.

The conference is designed to help business people gain awareness of the Y2K problem and ways it can affect their businesses. Participants will hear the federal, state and local perspectives on the importance of addressing the Y2K challenge, and learn Y2K strategies for dealing with the scope and magnitude of the problem.

Participants will gain understanding of how the problem evolved and what parts of a company may be affected. They also will learn Y2K terminology, how to identify basic legal issues, and become familiar with state and federal initiatives designed to assist companies in achieving Y2K compliance.

There is no cost to attend but advance registration is requested. To register, or to obtain more information about the conference, contact Jennelle Peckman at 312/494-0196 or e-mail at jpeckham@chicagolandchamber.org.

For more information about small business assistance programs available through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs call 800/252-2923 (TDD: 800/785-6055), e-mail: firststop@commerce.state.il.us, or visit the DCCA Web site at www.commerce.state.il.us.


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