Southern California Small Businesses Can Share Their Technology Challenges for Chance to Win a $5,000 Makeover From Verizon

Small businesses face a host of challenges, from balancing payroll and inventory to getting the right computers, communications and broadband systems.

Verizon wants to hear about Southern California small businesses' technology challenges and will award a business makeover worth more than $5,000 to the company that best tells its story.

Under the contest, sponsored by Verizon Small Business, Southern California small businesses can visit www.verizon.com/makeover to register and submit an essay, of no longer than 500 words, describing the technology challenges facing their business.  Small businesses also have the opportunity to win a $500 American Express Gift Card if they view quick, informative videos about Verizon Small Business solutions on the contest website.

A panel of judges will determine the grand-prize winner and four semifinalists. The grand prize consists of $2,000 in cash; an HP Laptop; a Verizon Wireless 4G LTE LG Revolution Smart Phone; the Intuit Website Design Services Package; and Mobile Pay and Google Personal Support for Google Products.  The semifinalists will each receive custom business-technology recommendations valued at $125.

"We recognize the numerous challenges involved in trying to grow a small business," said Margaret Serjak, president of Verizon California.  "Verizon has partnered with Google, Intuit and McAfee for this contest to help provide professional support and tools that help small-business owners connect with customers more effectively and efficiently."

To be eligible, entrants must be at least 18 years old; their business must have from one to 19 employees; and it must operate in one of the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino or Ventura.  The contest began Jan. 17 and ends March 2.  For more information about the contest rules, visit www.verizon.com/makeover or http://youtu.be/NuwxOSbRHoQ.

The Verizon Small Business Center offers access to news, resources, professional networking, free webinars and more. For news, tips and exclusive insights from Verizon, follow verizonca on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.  More information on Verizon's products and services for small businesses is available by calling 888-481-0387 or visiting www.verizon.com/smallbusiness.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 109 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 194,000.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.