As the United States Senate moved today to help small businesses learn how to prepare for the Y2K problem, Colorado State University instructor Mike Gould was on the phone with a small business owner who wanted to know more about the handbook he’d written to help small firms become Y2K compliant.
"I began researching the Y2K problem in April of last year," Gould said. "I subscribed to a Y2K Internet listserv, read numerous www articles, books, magazine and newspaper articles and talked to a lot of small business owners." What he found in researching the bug was that larger businesses were focusing a lot of financial resources and a lot of personnel on fixing the problems associated with Y2K, but small businesses were a different case. "I realized smaller businesses and organizations either didn’t believe in the Y2K problem, weren’t aware of the potential for disaster, didn’t know where to begin or were waiting for a quick fix from software or hardware vendors," Gould said. "I felt the need for something a small business owner could use immediately, which was affordable, provided consistency in data collection and consolidation of information for current and future use."
The Senate voted today on a measure that would require the Small Business Administration to guarantee loans for businesses trying to bring themselves intoY2K compliance or who are threatened by the possible Y2K problems of their suppliers, banks and their customers. According to one news report, studies have concluded that up to 750,000 small businesses could be severely hurt or be forced to shut down due to the Y2K problem. The bill being considered by the U.S. Senate warns that Y2K problems could result in up to $1 trillion in lawsuits, which was described as a "monumental tragedy for American businesses, workers and consumers" by the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Gould’s "Workbook," which consists of 26 pages of information and easy-to-use worksheets is arranged to help walk anyone through an organizational assessment and to prepare them for Y2K changes. Produced locally by the Kinko’s Copies at 1113 West Elizabeth Street in Fort Collins, "The Y2K Workbook: Business Needs Assessment and Change Management" sells for $24.95 and can also be purchased on the Internet at http://www.verinet.com/~margo.