Small Business Inc.:Designing and Promoting Small Business Programs for the Public


Business Reference in Public Libraries
June 21, 2003
Toronto, Ontario


Irwin D. Faye
Chicago Public Library

Basic Sources

  • Small Business Sourcebook
  • Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources
  • Business Information: How to Find It, How to Use It
  • Chicago Entrepreneur’s Sourcebook
  • Chicago Business Resource Guide 2001 (City of Chicago – Print and Updated Web Versions)
  • Mayor Daley’s Business Express (312-744-CITY)
  • Starting a Business in Illinois (Illinois Department of Commerce & Community Affairs – Print and Web Versions)
  • Crain’s Small Business Resource Guide
  • Small Business Administration Website (
  • Chicago Public Library’s Small Business and Start-Up Selected Internet Resource Page



  • A. How to Guides
    • SmartStart Your Illinois Business
    • Start, Run & Grow a Successful Small Business
    • Best Home Business for the 21st Century
  • B. Business Plans
    • Prentice-Hall Encyclopedia of Model Business Plans
    • Business Plans Made Easy
    • Business Plans that Work
  • C. Entrepreneur Manuals
    • These are start-up manuals on hundreds of specific types of businesses. A complete collection of this series is held at the Business/Science/Technology Division of the Harold Washington Library Center. The Sulzer and Woodson Regional libraries also hold large collections of these manuals.
  • D. Legal Issues
    • How to Form Your Own Illinois Corporation Before the Inc. Dries
    • Legal Guide for Starting and Running a Small Business
  • E. Venture Capital: Raising Money
    • Pratt’s Guide to Venture Capital Sources
    • Start-Up Financing: an Entrepreneur’s Guide

Basic Sources

  • Standard Industrial Classification Manual (SIC)
  • North American Industry Classification System Manual (NAICS)
  • A. Industry Surveys
    • U.S. Industry and Trade Outlook
    • Encyclopedia of American Industries
      • Vol. 1. Manufacturing Industries
      • Vol. 2. Service and Non-Manufacturing Industries
    • Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries
    • WEFA Industrial Monitor
    • Yearbook of North American Industry
    • Standard & Poor’s Industry Surveys (Also available on S&P NetAdvantage)
    • Valueline Investment Surveys
  • B. Trade Journals
    1. Sources
      • SRDS Business Publications
      • Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory
      • Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media
      • Bacon’s Magazine Directory
      • International Media Guides
      • Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources
      • Small Business Sourcebook
    2. Indexes
      • Business NewsBank (Database)
      • Business Periodicals Index
      • WilsonSelect Plus (Database)
      • Crain’s Chicago Business Index (web site)
      • F&S Index
      • Predicasts PROMT (Database)
      • Wall Street Journal Index
      • ProQuest (Web site access through the Chicago Public Library’s home page. ProQuest includes access to ABI/Inform and the Wall Street Journal
  • C. Statistical Sources
    • Statistical Abstract of the United States
    • Statistical Reference Index (SRI)
    • American Statistics Index (ASI) (GPD)
    • Statistical Universe (Database)
    • Manufacturing USA
    • Service Industries USA
    • Agriculture, Mining and Construction USA
    • Finance, Insurance and Real Estate USA
    • Transportation and Public Utilities USA
    • Wholesale and Retail Trade USA
    • Market Share Reporter
    • State of the Small Business
  • D. Trade Associations
    • Encyclopedia of Associations
    • Encyclopedia of Associations: Regional, State and Local Organizations: Great Lakes States
    • National Trade and Professional Associations of the United States
    • State and Regional Associations of the United States
    • Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources
    • Small Business Sourcebook
    • Sorkins Directory of Business & Government: Chicago Edition (Print and Database)
    • Consumer Yellow Pages
  • E. Demographic Information
    • U.S. Census of the Population (GPD)
    • Statistical Abstract of the United States
    • Sourcebook of Zip Code Demographics
    • Market Profile Analysis
    • Demographic Characteristics of Chicago’s Population
    • Social and Economic Characteristics of Chicago’s Population
    • Census Demographic and Housing Characteristics of Chicago and Community Areas
    • Local Community Fact Book: Chicago Metropolitan Edition
    • Living in Greater Chicago (Print and Web Versions)
    • Sales & Marketing Management Survey of Buying Power
    • Demographics USA: County Edition
    • U.S. Market Forecasts
    • Lifestyle Market Analysis
    • Official Guide to American Incomes
    • American Marketplace: Demographics and Spending Patterns
    • Who’s Buying for the Home
    • American Women: Who They are and How They Live
    • Generation X: The Young Adult Market
    • Statistical Reference Index (SRI)
    • American Statistics Index (ASI) (GPD)
    • Statistical Universe (Database)


  • Standard & Poor’s Register of Corporations (Also available on S&P NetAdvantage)
  • Dun & Bradstreet’s Million Dollar Directory
  • Ward’s Business Directory
  • Illinois Manufacturers Directory (Print and CD-ROM)
  • Illinois Services Directory (Print and CD-ROM)
  • Illinois Industrial Directory
  • Sorkin’s Directory of Business & Government: Chicago Edition (Print and Database)
  • Inside Prospects
  • Hoover’s Guide to the Top Chicago Companies
  • Thomas Register of American Manufacturers (Print and Website)
  • ReferenceUSA (Database)
  • Disclosure SEC Filings: 10k, 8k, proxies, prospectuses, annual reports
  • Laser D (CD-ROM)
  • Thomson Research (Database)
  • EDGAR (
  • FreeEDGAR (
  • 10K Wizard (

There are also state manufacturing directories for every state and a large collection of industry specific directories arranged by a modified SIC code. These sources and many special issues of trade journals are located behind the reference desk at the Business Information Center.


  • Almanac of Business & Industrial Financial Ratios (Troy)
  • Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios (Dun & Bradstreet)
  • Risk Management Associates Annual Statement Studies (RMA)
  • Financial Studies of the Small Business (Financial Research Associates)


  • American Business Climate & Economic Profiles
  • Moving & Relocation Sourcebook & Directory
  • Places Rated Almanac
  • Inside Prospects
  • Olcott’s Land Values Blue Book of Chicago & Suburbs
  • COMPS (Formerly Experian, formerly TRW/REDI, a.k.a. Cook County Real Estate Atlas)
  • Cook County Assessor’s Home Page (Web site access:
  • World Chamber of Commerce Directory


  • Brands and Their Companies
  • Companies and Their Brands
  • Standard Directory of Advertisers
  • Thomas Register of American Manufacturers
  • Dun’s Business Locator (CD-ROM)
  • Certified List of Foreign and Domestic Corporations (Illinois Secretary of State)
  • Illinois Secretary of State Corporate Name Availability Search (Web site access: or through CPL’s Home Page Business Subject Guides at
  • Trademark Scan Federal (Online database at Computer Assisted Reference Center)
  • Trademark Scan State (Online database at Computer Assisted Reference Center)
  • CASSIS (CD-ROM at Science/Technology Information Center)
  • Official Gazette (Science/Technology Information Center)
  • USPTO Web Site
  • ReferenceUSA (Database)

There are a series of small business links including some of the sites listed above that are recommended by librarians at the Business Information Center. These links can be accessed by going to the home page of the library at Click on "Selected Internet Resources," then the specific business topic. Links are then arranged by specific subject. Access to the ProQuest databases is also available through the Chicago Public Library’s Home Page. To access ProQuest from your own PC, you must have a valid Chicago Public Library card. At the Home Page, click on "Magazines, Newspapers and Databases." See also Electronic Resource Center.

The Electronic Resource Center is a central location in the Business/Science/Technology Division for information in electronic format on all topics pertaining to business, science and technology. In one location there is access to 15 Internet-linked computers providing access to specialized business, science and technology databases, CD-ROMS, and Internet subject links selected and annotated by librarians. The following is a list of business databases and CD-ROMS available. New databases are continuing to be added all the time. The most current list is available at the Electronic Resource Center homepage at (

  • ABI/Inform
  • American Business Disc
  • Associations Unlimited
  • Business NewsBank
  • Illinois Manufacturers Directory
  • Illinois Services Directory
  • Morningstar Principia Pro
  • Periodicals Abstracts
  • Predicasts PROMT
  • ProQuest
  • ReferenceUSA
  • Sorkins (Electronic Version)
  • Standard & Poor’s Insurance Reviews
  • Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage including the most current version of the Corporation Records, Stock Reports and the Industry Surveys
  • Statistical Universe
  • Thomas Register of American Manufacturers
  • Thomson Research
  • WilsonSelect Plus

Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee

bulletSmall Business Inc.: Designing and Promoting Small Business Programs for the Public
Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee, ALA Annual Conference, June 21, 2003

Disclaimer : This publication has been placed on the web for the convenience of BRASS members. Information and links will not be updated. Posted 18 October 2004.