Commerce Secretary William M. Daley today 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’sNational 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.
United with many Commerce Department components in the effort to encourage action by small businesses nationwide are the Small Business Administration, the Department of Agriculture and other federal government agencies of the President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion.
Small businesses are advised to:
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.