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Business Research Tools

Information for business planning, market research, companies, news, statistics, and directories

Community Resources

Local resources for small business, startups, and entrepreneurs


Business manuals and resources in the library's collection

Madison Public Library has a variety of services for entrepreneurs and small businesses:

Librarians can help with market and demographic research with databases and directories like Reference Solutions.

For those looking to start a business, we have thousands of sample business plans available online through the Gale Virtual Reference Library and in print form through the Business Plans Handbook collection.

All of our locations provide spaces for events, meetings, free wireless internet, printers, scanners and computers. The Central library has more than a dozen meeting spaces to use, rentals for large events, as well as audio, video, and graphic design tools. The library works with partners to offer classes for business, job skills, and technology, and with service providers that offer business, career, and legal advice.

And, of course, we have books and e-books on a variety of business topics.

To learn more, contact Martin Alvarado, Community Engagement Librarian, Business & Technology, at 266-6350 or with questions or to set up a consultation.

*Library databases will require your library card number.*

Research Tools

Census and demographic information from the US Census Bereau. | more info »
A multi-volume collection of actual business plans compiled by entrepreneurs seeking funding for small businesses throughout North America. | more info »
Full-text (or abstracts) of articles from thousands of scholarly and professional publications, academic journals, and trade magazines. | more info »
Determine the best location for your business using Census data. | more info »
Access all data and digital content (e.g., demographic and economic data) from the U.S. Census Bureau. | more info »
Data, tools, and resources for research, web and mobile applications, and data visualizations. | more info »
EBSCOhost includes thousands of indexed magazines, many full-text, for over fifteen years. Magazine coverage ranges from the popular to the academic. Also includes electronic content on auto repair, medical information and much more. | more info »
Encyclopedia of Associations
Information about national and international organizations in categories such as trade, business, and commercial; legal, governmental, public administration, and military; cultural; educational; veterans, hereditary, and patriotic; athletic and sports; fan clubs, and many more | more info »
Access popular multi-volume reference books, including Business Plans Handbook; Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law; Reference Guide to World Literature; Small Business Sourcebook; and more. | more info »
Market Share Reporter
Presents comparative business statistics with data and market description, a list of producers/products along with their market share, and cites original sources | more info »
Find the North American Industry Code for industry-level data. | more info »
Reference Solutions
Powerful business and consumer research database, offering business and residential listings useful in searching for people, executives, creating marketing plans, conducting competitive analysis, fundraising and sales. | more info »
Free entrepreneurship learning from the Small Business Development Center. | more info »
Resources for starting, financing, and managing a small business. Try the Small Business Administration's Learning Center for self-paced free online business and entrepreneurship topics. | more info »
Suite of tools from the Small Business Administration offering things like counseling, business planning, contracting, etc. | more info »
Directory of manufacturers. A librarian can provide a login for use in the library. | more info »
Weiss Ratings logo
Financial education guides as well as ratings for insurance and banking institutions. Users can take advantage of tools to compare and decide between supplemental Medicare insurance plans, banks, credit unions, and insurance companies. | more info »
Locate licensed businesses, partnerships, and companies in Wisconsin, also known as Corporate Registration Information Service (CRIS). | more info »

Community Resources

Offers demographics, associations, plans, businesses, profiles, and maps. | more info »
provides services and assistance to businesses in the city. | more info »
Catalog of open data sets and visual tools from the City of Madison. | more info »
at UW-Madison's Memorial Library. | more info »
The Madison Cooperative Development Coalition (MCDC) is the City of Madison-funded initiative to form worker cooperatives that address income inequality and racial disparities by creating living-wage union jobs. | more info »
Find services, suppliers, and information about local business and demographics. | more info »
Links to and a map of neighborhood business associations. | more info »
Steenbock Library is a designated Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC). Patent librarians provide patent and trademark information and searching assistance for the general public and the UW-Madison community. | more info »
Provides classes and counseling from retired experts. | more info »
at UW-Madison offers resources, paid classes, and the free Business Answer Line. | more info »
A guide to getting started as a food processor in the state of Wisconsin. | more info »
Find the requirements and tools you need to start a business in Wisconsin. | more info »
Information for tech businesses on incubators, networking and capital. | more info »
Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation offers business classes and lending. | more info »

Investing, Company, and Charity Research

Analysis and ratings of charities and nonprofit organizations. | more info »
Clearinghouse of consumer protection information. | more info »
Directory of grant makers in the state. A librarian can provide a login for use in the library. | more info »
Information on programs and finances of more than 850,000 charities and nonprofits. | more info »
Find current and historical quotes for over 90,000 investments, and in-depth analysis for nearly 9,000 mutual funds and stocks. Plus, company and industry information and financial education tutorials. | more info »
Searchable SEC filings by geography and industry. | more info »
Value Line is an investment research company collecting data and analyzing performance of approximately 8,000 stocks, 15,000 mutual funds, and 80,000 options and other securities. Value Line is best known for their Investment Survey. | more info »

Books on Business and Entrepreneurship

Find up-to-date listings of library materials in our catalog, ordered from newest to oldest:

Small Business Manuals

Financing Your Business

Related Resources

Consumer Info

Information about products, businesses, and consumer protection

Jobs & Careers

Library services and online resources for job seekers