Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Rank Verizon as the Best Telecommunications Company to Meet Their Business Needs

NEW YORK - For the third year in a row, Verizon has secured the top brand ranking in its category in the annual American Brand Excellence Awards survey conducted by the City Business Journals Network among 1,700 owners and senior executives of small and medium-sized businesses.

Phone and online surveys were conducted among businesses that were chosen from the Dunn and Bradstreet database and that have fewer than 500 employees. The study, executed by Russell Marketing Research, ranked Verizon No. 1 in its telecommunications peer group, ahead of national competitor AT&T (ranked 4th), Cablevision (7th) and Comcast (11th). 

The surveys affirmed the positive impact of Verizon's focus.

Respondents rated Verizon tops as an industry leader across the following attributes: "forward thinking," "benefiting growing companies," "growing in popularity,"  "offering good value," "behaving ethically" and "environmentally friendly." A majority of small and medium-sized businesses said they are heavy users of both Verizon landline and Verizon Wireless services.

"This rating, coming directly from small and medium-sized businesses, is gratifying because it's our customers who are saying positive things about the services and products we provide," said Veronica Pellizzi, senior vice president of business solutions for Verizon. "This survey affirms that Verizon offers the best and the most innovative services to our business customers, giving them an edge over larger companies."

In analyzing the research, Dr. Godfrey Phillips, vice president of marketing for City Business Journals Network, said, "Of all the 200-plus brands we've measured, Verizon is the one brand with the most loyal customers. Verizon has been identified by these small businesses as a company that is easy for them to do business with."

The results showed Verizon clearly leads its industry group and has successfully built and supported its brand strength across all measured attributes. Moreover, the brands of Verizon and Verizon Wireless have the highest cross-usage of all the telecomm brands. Verizon increased its performance ratings overall among all peer companies, many of which showed year-over-year declines in brand esteem.

The American Brand Excellence Awards, sponsored by City Business Journals Network, (CBJN) is a unique survey that ranks companies providing products and services to small and medium-sized businesses. The rankings are based solely on the responses from these businesses' owners and managers. Other industries measured included business services, financial/insurance, retail, technology and travel. For more information about City Business Network Journals, visit www.citybiznetwork.com.

Verizon will receive the American Brand Excellence Award Wednesday (April 16) at the SMB Insights luncheon at the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center, hosted by City Business Journals Network to recognize the leading business-to-business brands.

Verizon offers a variety of award-winning products and services that allow businesses to customize the solutions they need to better compete in the marketplace. In addition to broadband Internet access, phone and TV service, solutions include online backup storage, e-mail encryption and communications management tools. Verizon business customers who purchase services totaling at least $125 per month may be eligible to enroll in Verizon Business Link Rewards to earn bonus credits to redeem for gift certificates, travel and merchandise. For more information about Verizon Business Link Rewards, call 800-LINK-888 or visit www.verizon.com/businesslink.

For more information on Verizon's products and services for small businesses, customers can visit www.verizon.com/business or call 888-649-9500. For news, resources and more tools for Verizon's business customers, visit The Verizon Small Business Center at http://business.verizon.net.

About City Business Journals Network
City Business Journals Network is an organization of 66 member publications located in major markets across the country.  CBJN's member publications have a combined circulation of over 800,000 and a readership approaching five million.  Based in Charlotte, NC CBJN has sales offices in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.  It is a subsidiary of American City Business Journals, a unit of Advance Publishing, Inc., whose properties include Condé Nast Publications and the Fairchild and Golf Digest Companies.  CBJN is located at 120 West Morehead St., Charlotte, NC 28202; phone 800-433-4565; www.citybiznetwork.com.

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 66 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.