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One of the UK’s fastest growing ISPs is launching a new small business portal for British small firms
in conjunction with Smallbiz UK Limited, specialists in small business assistance.
Firstnet Services Limited, part of the Minorplanet Group, is providing a web-based service that covers
an array of business subjects, including Money Matters, Staff and Skills, IT and Internet and
Business Supplies. The portal also provides a useful variety of free business software, services and
support.
The site (http://firstnet.smallbiz.uk.com) incorporates information about relevant Internet services
provided by Firstnet, as well as a broad range of other facilities for small businesses. These range
from travel facilities and legal support to financial services and business publications aimed at the
needs of British small firms.
Dominic Marrocco, CEO of Firstnet Services, says: “Small firms can gain a lot from effective use of
Internet technology and we offer a range of attractive Internet services. Our small business portal
allows us to extend the package of services we can offer in this competitive market. Working with
Smallbiz UK enables us to provide this service without any distraction from our core business.”
Although the Leeds-based ISP has selected those services and information it wishes to include
within its portal, Smallbiz UK has set up and will maintain the service on behalf of Firstnet Services.
Smallbiz MD Gerard Liston states: “Smallbiz UK can provide attractive and relevant content because
of the strong portfolio of business relationships we have established. As a result, we were able to set
up the portal within a few days of being briefed by Firstnet Services.”
The portal is constantly updated with the new content of relevance to small firms. Recent additions
include “Smallbiz Challenge” – a humorous on-line game about running a small business – and an
innovative service that helps firms save time and money by purchasing energy supplies on-line.
Gerard Liston adds: ”We are delighted to provide a service that enables Firstnet Services to meet the
needs of small business customers more effectively. We are currently talking with a number of major
organisations about providing similar services.”


ENDS



About Smallbiz UK:

Smallbiz UK Limited was established in November 1999 to create a web portal, located at
www.smallbiz.uk.com. Promoted under the slogan “big ideas for small firms”, the site aims to provide
products, services and information of practical value to small British firms. Smallbiz.uk.com is
completely independent and works in partnership with some of the most respected and trustworthy
organisations around. The web site went "live" during May 2000.

Smallbiz UK Limited is backed by a small group of private investors. The decision to seek private
funding (rather than venture capital) was largely based on a desire to retain control over strategic
direction and reflects the company's "shirt-sleeves" approach to managing its business. Importantly,
the investors bring considerable business experience - particularly in the IT and Internet business -
and are represented on the board by a non-executive director.


About Firstnet Services Ltd:

As the UK's No.1 business ISP (Guardian Newspaper 2000), Firstnet Services Ltd. has established
its reputation on the delivery of effective Internet solutions for today's progressive businesses. Such
solutions offer peace of mind in today's rapidly developing and often confusing world of technology.
Be it ISP/ASP, server co-location, Internet connections, web design/e-commerce, secure servers,
hardware/software, sales and support, consultancy or telecommunication solutions, Firstnet will
deliver individual solutions tailored to precise requirements.

Firstnet was founded in 1996 in Leeds City Centre the finance Capital of the North. We quickly
developed a reputation as a lateral thinker in the rapidly expanding world of Internet Technology. Our
network operations centres incorporate purpose built vaults which are home to mission critical
equipment accessed by customers via the Internet. The Leeds Network Operations Centre houses
the core of it's staff and provides the backbone for the business. With points of presence (POPs) in
London and Manchester, Firstnet is expanding and consolidating it's footprint across the UK.


For more details please contact:


Gerard Liston
Smallbiz UK Limited
Tel 0113 2787076
E-mail gerard@smallbiz.uk.com


Rob Trowbridge LIVEpr
Tel 0207 630 1100
E-mail smallbiz@livepr.net
www.livepr.net -- all pr is LIVE
124 Victoria Street
London SW1E 5LA
Tel: +44 (0)20 7630 1100
Fax: + (0)870 121 5572

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