The agency says in its 'State of the Nation' report it is especially concerned about companies that employ between 20 and 99 staff, as only 65% of these have so far carried out enough work to ensure they beat the bug, although there are fewer than 100 days to go until the year 2000. A spokesman for Action 2000 said: 'Although time is running out, it is never too late for companies, especially the smaller ones, to ensure they are ready for the Y2K. 'Companies should assess their risk and act on it. The critical minority still at risk should not take their eye off the ball.' Action 2000 chairman Don Cruickshank said he was worried because the 'State of the Nation' report also showed 27% of companies that employ between 10 and 249 staff had not done enough to ensure they would beat the bug - although the number had decreased since Action 2000's previous report in August. According to the agency, businesses in the restaurant and hotel sector are the least likely to be ready at the end of the year, while financial organisations such as banks and insurance companies are the most likely to be fully compliant. The agricultural sector is understood to have shown the biggest improvements in their preparations so far this year. The latest research also revealed businesses did not recognise the importance of communicating their year-2000 plans to staff and customers, with almost half of businesses employing 10 to 249 staff not planning to communicate their millennium readiness. But a spokeswoman for accountancy software giant Sage, said: 'Over the last few years we have run a series of initiatives and programmes to ensure our SMEs are compliant. We are confident the majority of our customers will be ready before the new year.' Action 2000 also warned SMEs working on millennium preparations to watch out for 'bug cowboys' and to consult with them over any concerns they may have.
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