Libraries are an important resource for small businesses
The availability of vast new online business information resources through public libraries is a vital resource for new entrepreneurs. Whether providing information on regulations associated with incorporating a new business, assisting with business plan development and registration, or helping small businesses access critical information on finance and product databases, local libraries are now providing more business resource information than ever before. In larger communities, with multiple small business support agencies, public libraries are identifying and filling gaps in the formal and informal support networks and are offering specialized services to specific populations or sectors. In smaller communities, libraries are a principal source of information to area micro-, small, and mid-sized businesses.
While major corporations will frequently have ready access to information from online sources, small business operators are learning to turn to the library. The potential for public libraries to strengthen economic growth and resilience in the micro- and small business sectors is significant. Just as new research shows that students who do not have access to online research cannot compete with students who do, small businesses that do not have the ability to adapt and reposition their businesses with current and detailed online information are at a serious disadvantage in the competitive, global new economy (p. 20).