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For Small Business, Free Help From Cyberspace

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People who run small businesses are getting a lot of attention these days. The Presidential candidates want their votes. Computer companies want to sell them low-cost PCs and software. And now, the Small Business Administration wants them to call its computer, please. The SBA has set up its first electronic bulletin board, called SBA On-Line, to help distribute information about its many services and publications. To log on, dial 1-800-859-INFO for 2,400-baud service, or 1-800-697-INFO at 9,600 baud. There's no charge.

The service provides information about SBA loans, training programs, and help in such areas as business development and hiring women, minorities, and veterans. You can browse through files remotely or transfer them to your own computer. For those who don't have a computer, access is as close as the SBA's Business Information Centers in Seattle, Houston, Atlanta, and coming soon, Los Angeles and St. Louis. They're equipped with computers and software lent by a number of suppliers, including Apple, Microsoft, and Dun & Bradstreet. Sprint Corp. is supplying the nationwide, toll-free phone lines.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG

Silicon Valley State of Mind

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