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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, a senior member of the Senate Small Business Committee, urged Wyoming businesses to hope for the best, but to be prepared for the worst, just in case.

If Iraq continues to thumb its nose at the United Nations and its resolutions, President Bush will be forced to continue to mobilize U.S. armed forces. Members of the military who may be called to duty could possibly be reservists working for Wyoming businesses.

"My hope is that few Wyoming units will be called into active duty, but just this week Wyoming National Guard troops from both Casper and Rock Springs were mobilized," said Enzi. "Just as our young men and women in our military are prepared to defend our country, those of us left in Wyoming should be prepared to continue to do our jobs here at home and keep the state running smoothly."

Below is more information from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

-- News Release --

SMALL BUSINESSES URGED TO PREPARE FOR
NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE CALL-UPS
Preparing for Potential Disruption is the Key to Continued Success
Release Date: January 28, 2003
Contact: David J. Hall (202) 205-6697
Release Number: 03-05
Internet Address: www.sba.gov/news/indexheadline.html

WASHINGTON - Small business owners and small businesses with essential employees who are members of the Reserve or National Guard should have a plan in place to work through any potential disruption that may result from a broad call-up to active duty.

"A call to duty of a key employee can be disruptive for a small business that is not prepared," said SBA Administrator Hector Barreto. "It is essential that we at the SBA provide small business owners and employees involved in defending our country with the information they need to prepare for time away from the workplace."

The SBA Office of Veterans Business Development has created a new Web site where small business owners or small businesses with key employees who are members of the Reserve or National Guard can find relevant information. The first phase of the information website, http://www.sba.gov/reservists/, is part of a comprehensive plan to provide members of the National Guard and Reserve who own or are an essential employee of a small business with timely information on all SBA programs and services available to them if and when they are called to active duty.

Through a vast array of programs and services, the U.S. Small Business Administration provides tools to assemble and enact a plan designed to prevent or reduce the potential disruption caused a business by the sudden absence of a key player. The SBA and its resource partners offer managerial, technical and financial assistance, counseling and training to assist small business with any conceivable business-related issue, from how to market their products and services, to financial assistance, to what to do if called to active duty.

Salient among these programs are: basic 7(a) loan guarantee, SBA's primary loan program to help small businesses obtain financing while they may not be eligible through conventional channels; disaster loans for eligible small businesses affected by the call-up; debt relief on SBA loans in the form of repayment deferrals, interest rate reductions and other assistance.

The site has a list of Veterans Business Development Officers nationwide, information on financial options, business counseling and training and other SBA resources.

Thus far, since the attacks on America on Sept.11, 2001, more than 100,000 Reserve and National Guard members have been called to active duty. In anticipation of additional call ups, the SBA has taken these steps to ensure that eligible small businesses are informed of these services.

For more information about SBA programs and services for veteran-owned businesses, visit the Office of Veterans Business Development Web site at www.sba.gov/VETS/. For more information about assistance for businesses with key employees in the National Guard or the Reserve, visit the new Web site at www.sba.gov/reservists/.

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For more information about all of the SBA's programs for small businesses, call the SBA Answer Desk at 1-800 U ASK SBA or TDD 704-344-6640, or visit the SBA's extensive Web site at http://www.sba.gov.