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

Media contact: Stephanie Hobbs, 703-289-0607
Christina Erridge, 508-253-7375

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.

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