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Yahoo! Opens for Small Business

Yahoo! Inc. today launched Yahoo! Small Business, the portal's newest online resource targeted at small business professionals and entrepreneurs.

The new free site offers targeted products and services in 11 topic areas including Communications, Finance, Government Services, Human Resources, International Business & Trade, Legal, Office Supplies, Sales & Marketing, Starting a Business, Technology, and Taxes, the firm said.

Companies providing content for the categories include Airborne Express, Federal Express, UPS, NewsEdge, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, Inc. Online, WinStar New Media's Office.com and ZDNet and Inc. Online.

The site also provides e-commerce solutions and services for building an online store, locating contacts, and reaching other businesses, Yahoo! said. Its charter sponsors include Administaff, American Express Small Business, Biztravel.com, Inc., Martindale-Hubbell, ONSALE, Staples, and Value America.

"Small business owners understand the value and benefits of the Web and have already recognized the wealth of dynamic content available on Yahoo!," said Katie Burke, senior producer with Yahoo! Inc. "By integrating Yahoo!'s unique community and free communication tools with content from small business experts and our core directory, Yahoo! Small Business can deliver a useful and complete small business offering on the Web to meet the needs of this vibrant audience."

According to International Data Corp., U.S. small businesses accessing the Internet increased from 19.7 percent in 1996 to 41.2 percent in 1998, and it estimates that Internet usage among small businesses will gain momentum with penetration forecast to approach 4.3 million small firms by 2001.

Yahoo! is the latest portal to tap into the small business space online. In May, Netscape's Netcenter launched its Small Business Source site, and last month, Excite and Intuit joined forces to create a small business resource on Excite's portal.



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