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The London heat of the E-Commerce Awards, sponsored by Webcom 2001 (www.web-com.co.uk), has so far attracted entry submissions from nearly 50 companies within the region since its launch on 29th January by E-Minister Patricia Hewitt.

The annual E-Commerce Awards give companies around the country the chance to win a grand prize of £30,000. Consisting of 11 regional heats, each regional winner will receive £5,000. Second and third placed businesses will win £2,000 and £1,000 respectively. Winners of the regional heats will then go through to the national final on 5 July for a chance to win £30,000.

Last year’s London heat was won by PubEasy, a Middlesex based company which develops e-solutions for the publishing industry. With some of publishing’s biggest names as affiliates, the company very quickly established itself as the industry’s main method of conducting business transactions electronically. More than 5,000 booksellers from over 96 countries spanning the globe are using the service to access title, price and availability information, to place orders, to check the status of their orders and to access catalogues from participating publishers, distributors and wholesalers. During 2000, the number of transactions processed by PubEasy approximately doubled as the site attracted new users and affiliates.

Gary Bowman, PubEasy’s Application Development Director commented:
“The award was well earned recognition for all the people involved in PubEasy and all of our affiliates who have given their support to the business. We always mention the award when talking to potential affiliates and investors.”


Paul Evans, UK online for business adviser based at Business Link for London, said: “PubEasy shows what a small company can do to develop their business by using the Internet. Every day I see how e-commerce is transforming businesses in London and I am delighted that so many of the region’s companies have shown interest in the awards. However, there is still plenty of time for businesses to enter before the deadline of 18 May.”

Webcom 2001 is sponsoring the London regional awards for the third year in a row. Del Fasoranti, Portfolio Director for CMP Europe, organisers of Webcom 2001, commented: “Webcom 2001 showcases the leading organisations with the latest e-business and e-commerce technologies available for online trading. By sponsoring this award, Webcom 2001 and the E-Commerce Awards pay tribute to those small to medium organisations who utilise the web and web technologies for the greatest e-commerce benefit.”

The E-Commerce Awards 2001, set up by the Government-backed UK online for business and InterForum, and this year sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland and Cisco Systems, celebrate and reward best practice in the use of electronic business amongst companies with fewer than 250 employees in the UK.

For the first time this year, companies can also be nominated by their employees, business partners, customers, or even friends and family. Details of how to enter, case studies of previous winners and sponsor information can be found at www.ecommerce-awards.co.uk. An application form is also available from the UK online for business Infoline on 0845 715 2000. Closing date for entries is 18 May 2001.

In addition to the main awards, this year will again see the additional ‘E-Business Start-up Award’. Sponsored by Sun Microsystems and Computacenter, the award has an overall prize of £10,000 in cash and £10,000 for equipment. Details for this category can also be found on the web site.

Ends


Notes to editors

- A full case study and photographs of PubEasy is available on request.

- UK online for business is the DTI-led industry/government partnership to promote e-commerce uptake among small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), as part of the Government’s activity to get the UK online. There is a network of several hundred UK online for business advisers situated in the Business Links in England and their equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For further information or a free e-commerce guide, contact the UK online for business Infoline on 0845 715 2000 or visit the web site at http://www.ukonlineforbusiness.gov.uk

- InterForum is a not-for-profit campaign group of companies that helps British businesses to trade electronically. All of 'InterForum’s' activities are governed by the need to raise awareness of the many business opportunities and challenges presented by new information and communications technologies (such as the Internet). 'InterForum' works to ensure that education, legislation and technology are in place to help British businesses to profit from the digital economy. For further information on 'Interforum' visit their website at http://www.interforum.org

- Webcom 2000 attracted over 100 exhibitors and 5432 visitors to the event, held on 18-20th April 2000, at Olympia 2 London If you would like to find out more information or to like to visit Webcom 2001 for free, please visit the website at www.web-com.co.uk or call 0870 7511 428.

- CMP Europe Ltd. has more than 20 years of experience in producing industry leading, business-to-business events and publications that reflect the rapidly changing and diverse market of IT. The Company remains at the forefront of the industry by continuously developing existing events and adding new products to its portfolio. CMP's current successful events and publications in the UK include Com Europe and Call Centre Focus Magazines and Networks telecom, Webcom, GIS, Technology For Marketing and Call Centre Expo events.

CMP Europe Ltd is a leading provider of business to business marketing services and information to the hi-tech markets of IT, electronics and games. The expanding range of events, publications and on-line services benefit from CMP's strong industry focus and, as part of CMP Media Inc, a unique global and regional reach. CMP Europe was formerly the IT, Electronics and Games interests of Miller Freeman UK. Further information about CMP Europe can be found at http://www.cmp-europe.com. CMP Media Inc. (http://www.cmp.com) is part of United Business Media, formally United News and Media plc. Further information can be found at http://www.unitedbusinessmedia.com

For More Information Contact:

UK online for business Publicity Centre:
Richard Chapman, Rachel Fisher, Vanessa Wood and Stacey Haddon
Tel. 020 7072 4000 Fax. 020 7072 4010
e-mail ukonlineforbusiness@gciuk.com


CMP Europe
Toni Cullen - Senior PR Manager
Tel. 020 8987 7617
e-mail tcullen@cmp-europe.com



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