For Immediate ReleaseSan Diego Elite Disabled Veterans Network SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- July 16, 2004 -- A national convention of small disabled veteran entrepreneurs, the first nationwide convention of its kind, is scheduled for the Red Lion Hanalei Hotel, Tuesday-Wednesday, Aug. 10-12, 2004. Convention organizers invited U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi, a San Diego resident, as the luncheon guest speaker on Wednesday, August 11. The conference will honor native Americans who gallantly served our country through their service in the military from World War II to the present. The San Diego Elite Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Network is sponsoring the convention. The network, a nonprofit association, educates service-connected disabled veterans, who own and operate small businesses, about federal and state programs available to assist them. The network also provides this service to service-connected disabled veterans contemplating starting a business. Recent changes to federal and state laws require a minimum of three percent of all gove ment contracting dollars be awarded to disabled veteran small businesses through direct contracts or sub-contracts. The following will be available at the convention on Wednesday, August 11, to assist disabled veteran and small business owners on an individual basis: * A representative from the Small Business Administration * A representative from the Oceanside Small Business Development Center * Government contracting and purchasing officials * Commercial banking institutions specializing in small business loans * Attorneys specializing in structuring businesses The network invites Interested businesses in the public and private sector to attend the convention and reserve a table to enable participants to benefit from their counsel regarding available contracting and sub-contracting opportunities. Corporate sponsors are needed at various levels. San Diego-based corporate representatives are also invited to attend to learn how to hire qualified disabled veteran and small businesses with general and technical expertise in various fields. Disabled veteran small business are owned and operated by former military personnel who suffered a service-connected disability while serving our country. Disabled veteran small business owners represent all cultural groups and both genders and provide a wide array of general and highly technical services. To participate in the convention, becoming a sponsor, procure a tabletop to counsel and assist veterans, or participate in the golf tournament at the Admiral Baker Golf Course on Tuesday, August 10, call 619-284-9922.