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All Aboard! Next Stop, Recovery

Government agencies, large corporations, even tourists spending their vacation dollars in New York City have all helped the Big Apple's small-business owners begin the journey to recovery after September 11.

Now, a team of volunteers that includes well-known entrepreneurs, financial advisers, and retired business leaders will be riding the rails as part of a six-month effort that aims to spread that message nationwide. The Back on Track America tour kicks off Nov. 15 at New York's Millenium Broadway Hotel with a series of free, daylong workshops, counseling sessions, networking receptions, and town hall meetings.

After New York, the tour will stop at:

Newark, N.J., Nov. 19, New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Boston, Jan. 8, World Trade Center.

Tentative dates for December's events are: Chicago Cultural Center, Yates Hall, Dec. 10; Indianapolis, Dec. 12; Cincinnati, Dec. 13; and Louisville, Dec. 15.

Confirmed stops in 2002 are: San Francisco, Jan. 13; San Jose, Jan. 14; Los Angeles, Jan. 16; San Diego, Jan. 18. For more information about the sessions, call 888 567-0615.

FREE ADVICE. Workshops and counseling sessions will include presentations on money, management, and people, as well as legal issues, insurance, taxes, and marketing technology. Each event is free -- a business card will serve as an entry ticket.

Back on Track America is the brainchild of Jane Applegate, small-business columnist and founder and CEO of SBTV.

"Big- and small-business owners were already facing economic troubles prior to September 11," Applegate says. "We're bringing free expert advice and resources right to the doorstep of America's entrepreneurs."

Major sponsors of the road show include Amtrak, America Online, Fleet Bank, ING Financial Services, and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. "Amtrak is pleased to have the opportunity to support the efforts of Back on Track America by providing transportation across America for the team," says George D. Warrington, Amtrak's president and CEO. Content from the tour will be available on AOL beginning Nov. 13.

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