SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 2, 2005--
$100,000 In Cash Prizes and 40 Free Computers; Educational
Seminars Also Planned
In celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit of small business
owners, Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) is kicking off a national
sweepstakes with cash prizes totaling $100,000 and 40 desktop
computers to be given away. Additionally, the company will sponsor
Secrets of Small Business Success seminars in Chicago, Los Angeles,
New York and San Francisco.
"Small businesses are truly the backbone of our national economy,"
said Clark Collins, senior vice president of marketing at Washington
Mutual. "We applaud their vast contributions and want to recognize
them with this special congratulatory promotion." Citing statistics
from a recent Small Business Administration newsletter, Collins noted
that small firms have generated 60 to 80 percent of the net new jobs
annually over the last decade, employ half of the private sector
employees, and pay over 44 percent of the total U.S. private payroll.
"Despite their economic significance, we find the small business
segment to be largely underserved," stated Collins. "This was a
driving factor in our decision last year to significantly expand our
emphasis on small business. The response has been highly successful,
with our small business checking accounts at the end of 2004 up nearly
50 percent from a year ago."
One Grand Prize Winner of $50,000; Five Other Winners of $10,000
Under the Big Advantage for Small Business $100,000 Sweepstakes
promotion, Washington Mutual will select six cash-prize winners
altogether, with one grand prize winner receiving $50,000 to start or
grow his or her business, and five winners receiving $10,000 each.
Additionally 40 IBM(R) ThinkCentre(TM) desktop computers with a flat
panel LCD monitor and keyboard will be awarded.
Customers who open new small business accounts at Washington
Mutual during the month of May will be automatically registered to
win. Entries can also be picked up by customers and noncustomers at
Washington Mutual branches or by visiting the company's website at
www.wamu.com. In addition, the grand prize winner will receive a
special coaching session with successful entrepreneurs Rich and Jeff
Sloan, founders of StartupNation(R), a multimedia company that
features a nationally syndicated radio show and a newly published book
entitled StartupNation (expected to be released in mid-May).
Also planned are the Secrets of Small Business Success seminars,
which are cosponsored by Infinity Broadcasting and open to the public.
The seminars feature a panel of business experts who will share
valuable tips and answer questions during a breakfast forum. The
seminars will run May 24 at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles,
May 25 at the 101 Club in New York and the Walnut Creek Marriott in
San Francisco, and May 26 at Maggiano's on Grand in Chicago. Costs
range from $10 to 20. For information, please call 206-461-2420.
About Washington Mutual
With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a
retailer of financial services that provides a diversified line of
products and services to consumers and commercial clients. At March
31, 2005, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $319.70
billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,400 retail
banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking and financial services
offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are
available at www.wamunewsroom.com.
CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Mary Kelley, 206-377-6878
SOURCE: Washington Mutual