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IBM'S HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORTS TOP $8 MILLION

 IBM'S HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORTS TOP $8 MILLION
 MIAMI, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The IBM Corporation announced today


that it will donate 2,000 personal computers to Dade County schools ravaged by Hurricane Andrew, raising the computer company's total relief efforts in South Florida to more than $8 million.
 "Now that the initial shock has begun to wear off, it's time to get back to the business of learning," said IBM's Tony Romero. "The schools lost a tremendous number of computers that were used daily by students. As a company, we didn't feel we could ignore this need when we had the means to fix it."
 Romero, IBM's general manager in South Florida and himself a victim of the hurricane, said the approximate $4 million donation to the schools will include all necessary software and services to get many of the district's computer labs back in operation.
 However, most of IBM's post-Andrew efforts have focused on helping small businesses -- a mainstay of the Miami economy.
 "In the last 10 days, we've donated 1,000 personal computers to assist small businesses," said Romero. "We've also loaned one of our executives to help coordinate relief activities and established a $20 million fund so small companies can secure deferred-payment loans and replace damaged computers."
 Romero, who lost his own home to the hurricane, echoed the concerns of other South Florida leaders, who believe the hundreds of small businesses damaged by the storm are in immediate danger of failing without help in the form of office space, telephones and computer services.
 "South Florida's economy is anchored by the entrepreneur who works out of his home or a warehouse," he said. "Right now, they need a place to work. The new Adopt-A-Business program that we've helped start is one way to address this need. IBM is providing office space for 2-3 small businesses at our headquarters in Coral Gables. We encourage every company that can to make room for one or more of these small firms."
 The telephone number established by the Adopt-A-Business program is 305-536-8006. Romero said small businesses in need of temporary office space and equipment are encouraged to call.
 "If we don't get these businesses some help very quickly, they'll have to close shop and those people who worked for them will go on the unemployment line. We just can't let that happen."
 Other IBM contributions to the relief effort include:
 -- Provided mobile computers to the Dade County property appraiser's
 office to help rebuild the property appraisal system.
 -- Provided computers to the Florida Department of General Services
 to speed up the processing of government paperwork.
 -- Provided support for the "We Will Rebuild" committee including
 a loaned executive, $25,000 in cash and office space.
 -- Donated $25,000 to United Way of Dade County's Hurricane Relief
 Fund.
 -- Donated $100,000 to the Red Cross for immediate relief efforts
 and provided a dozen wireless computer terminals for
 communications in the Homestead area.
 -- Donated $10,000 to the Salvation Army base in Homestead, where
 more than 60 IBM employees from West Palm Beach and Fort
 Lauderdale helped pass out relief supplies on Monday.
 -0- 9/15/92
 /CONTACT: Don Harrison of IBM, 404-877-5901/ CO: IBM ST: Florida IN: SU:


JB-JJ -- FL008 -- 9646 09/15/92 12:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 15, 1992
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