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HP Powers Leading Entrepreneurs Honored During National Small Business Week

Companies honored by U.S. Small Business Administration discuss how HP technology helps their businesses
PALO ALTO, Calif., May 20, 2004

Several HP small- and medium-size business customers (defined as those with fewer than 1,000 employees) were recognized as leading entrepreneurs by the U.S. Small Business Administration this week.

Honored during National Small Business Week to celebrate the strength and vitality of the U.S. small business sector, HP customers including Milestone Architectural Ornamentation, Schoch Harley-Davidson, Great Lakes Home and Hospice and Ribbons Express leveraged HP technology to grow their businesses.

"The vast majority of small businesses want simple, easy-to-use, hassle-free technology solutions. Technology must enhance and not interfere with the business owner's ability to run their business," said Robyn West, vice president of Small and Medium Business (SMB), HP Americas. "We at HP have not forgotten our own small businesses roots and have invested heavily to ensure we deliver broad and relevant technology solutions and expertise that help SMB owners get more from their technology investments."

Small company reaches new milestone

Based in Amarillo, Texas, Milestone Architectural Ornamentation, Inc., is owned by Steve and Melody Brenna. The company started by designing fireplaces, extraordinary trims and additional landscape elements and later transitioned from one-of-a-kind art projects to a full manufacturing operation.

According to Melody Brenna, chief executive officer of the company, the challenge for a small business is promoting products without the advantage of an ad agency or a big budget. Milestone relies on HP printers, including the HP Photosmart 7550 printer, for its marketing and promotional needs.

"We're a very small company, but with the professional look of our milestoneltd.com Web site, and our proposals and posters printed in-house, we look huge," said Brenna. "We must have photos to show our product and we send out very elaborate bids with photos as part of our sales process. We now have customers all over the world because we're able to present customized, high-quality proposals, covers, posters, postcards and other marketing materials cost-effectively in-house."

"We use the glossy brochure paper from HP for a top-quality look. We customize flyers, insert a customer logo and print 100 copies to send out. We need the flexibility to change text and photos, and print small quantities and we couldn't afford to pay a printer for that service," she said. "The quality and flexibility the HP printers provide help us compete as a small business."

HD runs smoothly on HP

In order to survive, Cal and Rose Schoch of Stroudsburg, Pa., diversified to a Harley-Davidson dealership. Thirty-eight years later, the business has experienced many changes from its small beginnings in a cramped service station on Main Street. Now in larger modern facilities on Route 33/209, the dealership continues to grow and expand and has added a convenience store.

Robin Olson, IT manager at Schoch Harley-Davidson, recommended a transition for the company to HP technology when she came on board two years ago. "My experience has been with corporate IT and HP products have always had the reliability and service that meets corporate expectations. Those needs are the same for a small business," said Olson. "When we buy service from HP in the form of a service pack, I know they'll respond quickly. In 12 years of working with HP, the service is always there."

The business relies on computer technology to keep it running smoothly, just like one of its Harley-Davidson engines. HP Compaq Business Desktop dx2000 microtowers, d530 ultraslims and d530 small form factor PCs are in place at the desktop along with HP LaserJet 1100 printers. "One of the reasons we chose HP is ease of use. As a small business, it's important for us to stay focused on business," said Rose Schoch, president, Schoch Harley-Davidson.

Healthcare agency standardizes on HP

As a full-service home healthcare agency based in Jackson, Mich., Great Lakes Home Health and Hospice serves a 29-county area providing skilled nursing and other professional medical care, assistance with activities of daily living, hospice for patients with special end-of-life needs and home medical equipment.

At the time of last year's SBA Expo, Chief Executive Officer William Deary was in the process of looking for new computing solutions and says he hadn't really considered HP as a possible resource. The nature of their business is so cost-conscious, the company was conditioned to shop around for price.

"We were so impressed with the HP team and when they came back with the best pricing, it threw any competition out of the process," said Deary. "We have developed a great relationship and it was an easy decision to standardize on HP as our exclusive provider."

Great Lakes Home Health and Hospice currently has HP Compaq racked servers running Citrix and recently purchased more than 70 HP Compaq Business Desktop PCs and numerous HP printers - from the high-volume HP LaserJet 8150n to the HP LaserJet 1200 series.

According to Deary, the company's biggest challenge is maintaining regulatory compliance, which involves an incredible amount of paperwork. They have installed a sophisticated software solution and it's important for their servers and printers to handle the load. "We now have the quality and reliability of HP supporting our business," he said.

Ribbon Express gives HP first place

Ribbons Express is a small, family-owned business based in Cherry Hill, N.J. The company specializes in computer supply products. For three consecutive years, Ribbons Express, with 43 employees, was recognized as one of Philadelphia's top 100 fastest growing companies.

For 16 years, Ribbons Express has provided printing supplies and service for its customers and sells a large volume of HP printer products including ink cartridges and paper. "HP is known for quality and stands behind its products," said John Murabito, president, Ribbons Express. "Our relationship with HP has helped our business grow. Whoever we call on uses some HP products."

"Where companies may have outsourced printing before, they now have an affordable option to print in-house," he said. "We see a strong demand for high-end glossy paper for professional color printing at the desktop. I can see a day where black-and-white printing goes away and everyone has a color laser printer at the desktop. The printing cost per page keeps coming down and that is a boost to our business."

Two years ago the company received an SBA loan to relocate to a larger building. Demand has continued despite the economy because offices need supplies to operate. Murabito notes that customers are printing more color as the price for color printers continues to decrease.

"We have seen steady growth as a small business by supporting our customers and giving them high-quality products and service," he said. "When you deliver that, customers keep coming back."

More information about HP's offerings for small- and medium-size businesses is available at http://www.hp.com/go/smb.

About HP

HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended April 30, 2004, HP revenue totaled $76.8 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.


This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the possibility that the market for the sale of certain products and services may not develop as expected; that development and performance of these products and services may not proceed as planned; and other risks that are described from time to time in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 31, 2004, and other Securities and Exchange Commission reports, filed after the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2003. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

About HP

HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at http://www.hp.com.