Bell Atlantic Forges Partnership with Staples to Aid Flourishing Small Office/Home Office Market

Bell Atlantic Forges Partnership with Staples to Aid
Flourishing Small Office/Home Office Market

Business to Business Buying Guide Allows Small
Business Networking Opportunities

July 20, 1999


Stephanie Hobbs,

Christina Erridge,

New York -- To meet the demands of small offices and home offices
(SOHO) seeking easier, more effective ways to do business, Bell Atlantic
and Staples offer a new tool.

Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages and Staples, The Office Superstore, have
teamed up to distribute the Bell Atlantic Business to Business (BTB)
Buying Guide, a free networking resource guide for SOHO executives, in
selected Staples stores throughout the Bell Atlantic region.

The launch of the new program is currently underway for the BTB New
York Metro Area. New York Staples shoppers are able to pick up a copy
of the BTB New York Buying Guide at one of the 18 stores within the
Manhattan borough.

With more than 3,200 headings, the Buying Guide contains extensive
business resources for small businesses seeking efficient, cost-effective
ways to do business. In addition, the directory's Business Resource Pages
includes listings of local trade shows and meeting facilities, shipping
terminals, and an Internet primer that helps businesses get online.

"With the dramatic increase in the start-up of new businesses in the
U.S. -- 900,000 in 1998 -- a one-source buying guide is in high
demand," said Mary Jo Howe, vice president, Bell Atlantic Yellow
Pages. "We are pleased to partner with Staples to offer the Bell
Atlantic Business to Business Buying Guide in selected Staples stores
throughout the region."

Staples shoppers will find the BTB directories in visibly displayed racks
located at the exit of the stores.

In addition to the distribution of the BTB directories, Bell Atlantic is
offering five tips for small business to succeed in today's marketplace.
Tips include

1) Do Your Homework -- make and update business plans and goals; 2)
Know Your Marketplace - distinguish yourself from the competition; 3)
Make the Deal -- learn how to close the sale; 4) Reap the Rewards - set-up
an aggressive payment system for products and services; and 5) Tap into
Existing Resources
- use available resources and references already
available such as the Internet, free information's sources e.g., the BTB
directory, and small business development associations.

The BTB directories also will be distributed in Staples stores throughout
cities in New Jersey and New England and stores in Pittsburgh,
Philadelphia and Baltimore.

In addition to the BTB Buying Guide, Bell Atlantic is also offering Local
Telephone Services available in 310 stores from Maine to Virginia.
Shoppers are able to purchase the needed communication services
including voice messaging, Caller ID, additional lines with the assistance
of Staples associates.

Bell Atlantic is the world's largest publisher of Yellow Pages shopping
directories. Its affiliate, Bell Atlantic Electronic Commerce Services, is the
creator of BigYellowSM, a leading national online shopping service.

Staples Inc. is a $7 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and
technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to
Fortune 50 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom
and Germany. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office
superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in
the world. The company has over 44,000 employees serving customers
through more than 980 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-
commerce and a contract business. More information about the company
is available at http://www.staples.com.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine
million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.