Free advice and user-friendly software are now available to help Spanish-speaking small businesses better deal with the year 2000 computer problem, Commerce Secretary William M. Daley announced today.
"I am thrilled that we can provide thousands of Spanish-speaking small business owners across the country with assistance in addressing this critical problem," said Daley. "Small companies that take advantage of this assistance can help prevent loss of profits as well as loss of their customers," he said.
Spanish-speaking small businesses can call the Y2K Help Center for Small Business at (800) Y2K-7557 (925-7557) or send email to y2khelp [at] nist.gov. (Assistance also is available to English-speaking small businesses.) Help center analysts will provide year 2000 advice and assistance, including technical support to users of Conversion 2000: Y2K Self-Help Tool (see description below). Located at the Commerce Department’sNational Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., the center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday.
Conversion 2000: Y2K Self-Help Tool is free software that is available in both Microsoft Access™ and Excel™ in English and Spanish. It was developed last year by the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership, in conjunction with KPMG LLP. The Y2K Self-Help Tool soon will be available in additional languages. But, assistance through the Help Center will be available only in English and Spanish.
While the software will not solve a year 2000 computer problem, it can help small manufacturers and other small businesses:
Other Y2K material also is available including a detailed user's guide for the software and a self-assessment checklist to help a company determine whether its or its suppliers' computer systems and equipment may have Y2K problems.
The Y2K Self-Help Tool and the other material can be downloaded for free from the MEP web site at y2khelp.nist.gov and also is available through the Help Center, the nationwide network of MEP centers ((800) MEP-4MFG, 637-4634) and field offices of the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
NIST's MEP is a nationwide network of manufacturing extension centers providing a wide array of business and technical assistance to smaller manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Through MEP, manufacturers have access to more than 2,000 manufacturing and business advisers whose job is to help firms make changes that lead to greater productivity, increased profits and enhanced global competitiveness.
As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Technology Administration, NIST strengthens the U.S. economy and improves the quality of life by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Measurement and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, and the Baldrige National Quality Program.
In recognition of small manufacturers’ extraordinary contributions to the economic strength and well-being of the United States, the U.S. Department of Commerce has declared 1999 as "The Year of the Small Manufacturer." Throughout 1999, NIST MEP and its network of centers are planning a series of events to celebrate the achievements of small manufacturers.