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Dear Readers:

October 14, 1998

The desire to run your own business is quickly becoming as much a part of the American Dream as owning your own home. The entrepreneurial spirit is especially strong in Southern California, where it is emerging as a major force in our economy while establishing our region as the small-business capital of the world. Whether you're just starting a new company, providing consulting services from home or expanding into a major player with hundreds of employees, your need for reliable and insightful business information has never been greater.

That's where the Los Angeles Times comes in.

As an extension of our expanded coverage of entrepreneurial issues in each Wednesday's Small Business section, we're holding our first-ever Small Business Strategies Conference this weekend. This two-day conference gives small-business owners like you direct access to the expertise, experience and inspiration of some of the great business success stories of our time. Imagine, for instance, what you might learn from someone who turned a garage-based business into a $1.15-billion franchise!

The Small Business Strategies Conference offers 47 educational panel discussions in six categories: technology, finance, growth, advertising and marketing, managing people and Entrepreneurship 101. You'll be able to "Ask the Experts" and get practical advice from legal, financial, accounting, marketing and human resources experts, as well as network with your business colleagues. As an added benefit, there is a large exhibition hall where you can talk with vendors whose specialty is serving small businesses.

I invite all attendees to visit the Los Angeles Times booth in the exhibition hall and meet the editors, writers and columnists who bring you Wednesday's Small Business pages and the daily Business Section. It's all part of our tradition of providing you with the information you need to be more successful in business as well as in life. I look forward to seeing you at the conference.

Mark H. Willes

Publisher of the Los Angeles Times

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