§ Mr. Gardiner
To ask the President of the Council what means she has used to target small shopkeepers from the Asian community to ensure they are Year 2000 compliant. 703W
§ Ms Hewitt
I have been asked to reply.
All small companies, in whatever sector or community, have been a target for Action 2000's "Act now!" Campaign, which has included a multimedia campaign offering an Action Pack of Helpsheets obtainable by contacting a free Action Line and website. Poster campaigns in July of 1998 and through 1999 were directed at all business communities. A "Last Chance Guide" was mailed to all UK businesses with 1–249 staff in September 1999 and a London regional campaign provided opportunities for Asian businesses to exchange experiences with others.
Specific initiatives which focused more directly on the Asian community have included the London business channel review in July 1998 which established contact with Asian Business Initiative, Asian Business Network and the Brick Lane Business Association. Paid advertising has been placed in Asian media and, since 1998, an on-going dialogue has been established with an Asian publishing group offering interviews and free articles by the Action 2000 Press Office about the need to achieve Year 2000 compliancy.