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News & Notes

Published March 26, 1998

Taft joins world business exchange network

The city of Taft has logged on to a commercial website on the Internet to engage in the business of international trade.

Taft received an official invitation on behalf of the World Business Exchange Network following Wednesday's historic logging-on ceremony at the Fox Theater in downtown Taft.

Participating in the special ceremon9ies were Taft Mayor Bill Baker, Taft District Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbie Reed, Fox Theater Manager Wade Holland, WBE-Net Founder and Chief Executive Officer Roosevelt Roby, WBE-Net Vice President Cathy Gogola, Los Angeles businessman Howard Newman, public relations specialist Dean DeLorean and Chris Harris, and los Angeles' Alain LeRoy Locke High School instructor Cliff Webb. On March 20, Webb became the first teacher in the U.S. to teach international trade utilizing WBE-Net, a course he developed with Roby.

After logging on to the program, the World Business Exchange Network extended its invitation to entrepreneurs and small businesses in town with populations under 7,000 to join the website for three months at no cost.

Taft District Chamber of Commerce is also participating in the program. Reed noted that the Chamber of Commerce will be represented on the website, as will various other businesses in the Taft area.

The Fox Theater is another of Taft's early participants in the program. The theater was highlighted during Wednesday's ceremony, showing its availability as a movie theater, concert hall and venue for other local events.

According to Roby, the World Business Exchange Network used Wednesday's event to officially launch its Global Public Awareness campaign entitle "Engage in International Trade with the WBE-Net."

The campaign will help inform citizens around the world that anyone regardless of their geographical location, education and financial status can engage in international trade from their home or office as long as they have a computer, access to the Internet and a determination to earn money.

Over the next year, WBE-Net will provide people around the world with free information by calling 1-800-537-7347 or 1-310-396-2000.

The World Business Exchange Network started collecting data on small companies in Europe and Asia in 1987. Since establishing the website in 1993, the WBE-Net has amassed a database of more than 125,000 contacts from around the world and has been responsible for everything from a $25,000 blue jeans deal to an $18 million steel transaction.

Some of the more popular product lines to be featured include pharmaceuticals, new and used clothing, automotive vehicles and pars, laboratory equipment, food products, construction machinery, medical products, paper products, oilfield equipment, environmental items, computers, mining equipment, chemicals and cosmetics, air conditioners, water treatment, generator, hardware items and fertilizer and farm equipment.

Reed said the program offers Taft residents and opportunity to reach other parts of the world.
"This is a wonderful opportunity that we don't want to miss", said Reed. She added that it's "not going to be a piece of cake" because it will take a lot of hard work to be a successful program.

Baker used the current movie title "As Good As It Gets" to get his point across to those in attendance at the Fox Theater.

He mentioned that times have been though in recent years and Taft is showing signs of rebounding. But he noted that Taft does not want to settle for complacency.

He said the city is full of optimism as 1998 winds up its third month. And he noted that "there's better yet to come".


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