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&#39Small firms are dealing with Year 2000 bug&#39

Warnings that small businesses face meltdown because of the millennium com puter timebomb have been exaggerated, according to business finance specialist Alex Lawrie.

A survey of 200 small and medium-sized businesses with turnover between £1m and £10m shows that small businesses are tackling the computer crisis.

IT experts warn that many small businesses are failing to deal with the Year 2000 crisis.

The problem could send computer systems crashing because they are unable to recognise the switch in date from 1999 to 2000.

But the survey shows that 78 per cent of companies have already checked their computers for Year 2000 compliance.

Over 60 per cent of those firms surveyed say they have, or will, upgrade their existing technology.

Alex Lawrie managing director Keith Higley says: "It is encouraging that small businesses appear to have taken heed of warnings and are ensuring that their systems are compliant with the new millennium."

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