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AT&T to Provide $250,000 to Help Improve and Strengthen Opportunities for Diverse, Small Business Owners in California
SAN FRANCISCO, CA October 17, 2008 / -- DiversityBusiness.com /- AT&T California today announced that it has awarded 10 California Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) each with $25,000 in funding as part of the company's ongoing commitment to supplier diversity. Launched in 2006, AT&T's Micro Enterprise Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) is designed to help strengthen the operations and improve the sustainability of traditionally underserved, self-employed and small-business owners in California.

"This year AT&T is celebrating the 40th anniversary of our supplier diversity programs and we remain committed to facilitating the development of new business opportunities for minority-owned firms and other diverse small businesses," said Ken McNeely, president, AT&T California. "We want to ensure that all business owners are included in emerging industries and technology opportunities, and our MTAP program goes a long way towards helping California small businesses survive and thrive."

"Providing resources to strengthen and enhance the capabilities of minority small businesses is a key component to any supplier diversity program," said Assemblyman Curren Price, D - Inglewood and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Procurement. "This effort will help small minority businesses develop the skills needed to promote and maintain important business relationships."

The 10 organizations receiving funding have demonstrated a successful track record of providing training and technical assistance to low- and moderate-income aspiring and existing small business owners across California.

The award recipients are:

Agriculture & Land Based Training Association, Salinas -- To offer organic and sustainable farming business training accredited by Hartness Community College to the Latino community by providing educational and economic empowerment for aspiring and transitioning farmers.

CHARO, Los Angeles -- To provide counseling and program support for a variety of short-term and long-term business development training programs for the Latino community, including ABCs of Starting Your Own Business, Entrepreneur Training and Advanced Entrepreneur Training.

Jefferson Economic Development Institute, Mount Shasta -- To support business development services for rural-based enterprises with training in loan preparation and analysis, business vitality assessment, advanced financial management series and advanced marketing.

La Cocina, San Francisco -- To support a kitchen incubator program that addresses the need for affordable kitchen space and industry-specific training for Latino food service businesses. The program offers shared-use and commercial kitchen facilities, and training on culinary and food industry skills, techniques and regulations.

Mabuhay Alliance, San Diego -- To provide Asian-Pacific Islander micro-business owners with fundamental business management skills training.

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, San Francisco -- To expand its Spanish language introduction to business planning classes for aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs.

Spanish Speaking Unity Council, Oakland -- To provide technical assistance services to Fruitvale Public Market clients and Fruitvale area merchants, including financial training in collaboration with local banks.

Tri-County Economic Development Corporation, Chico -- To expand its incubation program serving rural communities and providing mentoring, financial and technical assistance training.

Urban Solutions, San Francisco -- To provide business development consulting services to residents of the Western Addition, a redevelopment agency project, and provide training in business skills and financial literacy.

Yuba Sutter Economic Development Corporation, Yuba City -- To expand business training to rural communities by leveraging the Yuba Community College district's Webinar program.

"Promoting economic development and self sufficiency in the growing Latino community in California is important to bringing growth and stability to the state," said Assemblyman Joe Coto, D - San Jose and Chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus. "AT&T's support of Microenterprise Development Organizations, dedicated to providing support and training to Latino entrepreneurs, is needed to help these businesses compete. "

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine's World's Most Admired Telecommunications Company list and No. 1 on America's Most Admired Telecommunications Company list. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.

SOURCE AT&T Inc.

About DiversityBusiness.com
Launched in 1999, DiversityBusiness, with over 50,000 members, is the largest organization of diversity owned businesses throughout the United States that provide goods and services to Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and colleges and universities. DiversityBusiness provides research and data collection services for diversity including the "Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities", "Top 500 Diversity Owned Companies in America", and others. Its research has been recognized and published by Forbes Magazine, Business Week and thousands of other print and internet publications. The site has gained national recognition and has won numerous awards for its content and design. DiversityBusiness reaches more diverse suppliers and communicates more information to them on a more frequent basis then all other organizations combined. We also communicate with mainstream businesses, government agencies and educational institutions with information related to diversity. Our magazine reaches over 300,000 readers, a monthly e-newsletter that reaches 2.4 million, and website visitors of 1.2 million a month. It is a leading provider of Supplier Diversity management tools and has the most widely distributed Diversity magazine in the United States. DiversityBusiness.com is produced by Computer Consulting Associates International Inc. (CCAii.com) of Southport, CT. Founded in 1980.

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