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FEATURE/ Staples Helps Entrepreneurs Get Started; In Celebration of Small Business Week Staples Offers Free Business Advice Through a Partnership with SCORE
FRAMINGHAM, Mass., May 6, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE FEATURES) -- With the recent downturn in the U.S. economy and unemployment at an eight-year high, many individuals are following the trend established during the recession of the early 1990's and turning to self-employment and starting their own business rather than re-enter the job market. Staples is helping to ensure these entrepreneurs have access to the solutions and services needed to get started.

May 5 -11, 2002 marks the 39th celebration of National Small Business Week, which was established to honor the outstanding contributions that an estimated 25.5 million small businesses make to the U.S. economy throughout the year. Each year, the President of the United States issues a proclamation calling for the celebration of Small Business Week. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses employ more than half the private work force in the U.S., create three of every four new jobs, and generate a majority of American innovations. This year hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs will be celebrating their first Small Business Week.

While entrepreneurs may be on their own, they are not alone. Staples.com/BizWeek offers a full range of product solutions and business services needed to start a business. Staples provides free access to SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), a non-profit group that matches business owners with approximately 800 online working and retired executives who have a wide range of professional expertise that can help entrepreneurs start or grow a business. SCORE's one-on-one business counseling is available via email 24 hours a day and is confidential. Additionally, Staples.com is a resource for everything from business cards, to office supplies and furniture as well as a wealth of informative business content.

"While our nation climbs back from a recession which has resulted in over two million job cuts, there is an economic climate that encourages more people than ever to start businesses. Staples is excited to offer these entrepreneurs a launching point to become successful business owners," said Anne-Marie Keane, Vice President of Small Business Initiatives for Staples.

About Staples

Staples Inc. is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture, and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. 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 53,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,300 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at http://www.staples.com.

CONTACT:

Staples, Inc.
Deborah Hohler
508/253-8509
deborah.hohler@staples.com
or
MS&L Boston
Meara Murphy
617-437-7722. ext. 2574
meara.murphy@mslpr.com