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SBA and HP Small Business Foundation Host Western Region Business Matchmaking

More than 800 small businesses from throughout California to participate in largest procurement event in SBA history
LOS ANGELES, Calif., June 7, 2005

More than 4,000 appointments have been scheduled between small businesses and procurement representatives from large companies and government agencies as Business Matchmaking gears up for what is expected to be the most successful matchmaking effort yet. The event gives small business owners an opportunity to meet face-to-face and negotiate for contracts with buyers from large corporations as well as federal, state and local agencies. This event takes place at the Pasadena Convention Center on June 7 and 8.

Business Matchmaking is made possible through a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the HP Small Business Foundation. Now in its third year, the program has facilitated more than 27,000 appointments resulting in more than $30 million in contracts. Returning to Southern California for the second time in two years, the 2005 Los Angeles Business Matchmaking event is expected to present an 800 appointment increase over the Anaheim, Calif., event held in February 2004.

Business Matchmaking was conceived with hardworking entrepreneurs like Raul Segura, president of 80-employee Segura Security Service, in mind. "Business Matchmaking gave me an opportunity to see major potential customers all in one day that I might never have otherwise met. No question, the relationships I developed are helping me grow my company."

"In such a short time, the response to Business Matchmaking has been tremendous," said SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto. "We're looking forward to continuing our relationship with the HP Small Business Foundation, as we return to Southern California where many small business success stories have already been written."

"HP is proud to be a partner, advisor and advocate to small businesses through programs like Business Matchmaking, which is making a real difference for thousands of entrepreneurs in Southern California and across the country," said Kevin Gilroy, senior vice-president and general manager, Small and Medium Business, HP. "In joining with the SBA, the HP Small Business Foundation is empowering small businesses and opening the doors to enable them to meet and negotiate contracts with government agencies and corporations."

Administrator Barreto continued, "Along with the support of the HP Small Business Foundation and in tandem with the efforts of our local SBA district offices, SCORE and other resource partners, Business Matchmaking has emerged as one of the most successful initiatives ever undertaken by the SBA."

Additional Business Matchmaking events have taken place in Nashville and Washington D.C. Milwaukee will host an event on September 14, 2005. New in 2005 is Virtual Business Matchmaking, where small businesses can meet with procurement representatives online. The online network is currently available to small businesses in Phoenix, Albuquerque, Denver, Kansas City and Tampa. For more information, log on to http://www.businessmatchmaking.com.

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