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Small Business Information   Tags: entrepreneurship, market research, small business, start a business  

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Market Research -- Library Resources

There is no single source of information for market research, and market research may take considerable time.  These Library databases may be useful for your research.   A Berkeley Public Library card is required to use them outside of the library's buildings.

  • Demographics Now
    A database of several million businesses, which enables you to create detailed local demographic reports on both existing businesses and possible customers.
  • Magazine MasterFILE Complete
    Full-text articles from hundreds of specialized business magazines, including articles on industry trends and outlook.
  • Academic OneFILE
    Includes full-text articles from hundreds of specialized business journals.
  • Encyclopedia of Associations
    Up to date listings for national, regional and international organizations with detailed descriptions of causes, financial data and membership. Many business associations offer demographic information on their industry, either free or for sale to their members.
  • Business Insights Global
    Company profiles and histories, brand information, rankings, investment reports, chronologies, and full-text magazine articles.

Market Research -- Beyond the Library

Here are suggested free sources of information for market research.  Again, there are many sources of business information and market research can take a lot of time.

  • Berkeley Office of Economic Development
    Berkeley's Office of Economic Development has produced a summary of Berkeley's business demographics. Statistical & Economic Profile Berkeley California. They will also help Berkeley businesses with demographic research.
  • Alameda County Small Business Development Center
    Alameda County Small Business Development Center’s suggested online resources for business information, including demographics and market research.
  • East Bay SCORE
    East Bay SCORE's suggested online resources for business information, including demographics and market research.
  • Census
    Free demographic data from the 2010 U.S. Census as it is published. Much of this can be found in Demographics Now.

Business Counseling

  • Alameda County Small Business Development Center
    The Library offers a variety of free small-business classes with the Alameda County Small Business Development Center. Classes are usually three hours on weekday afternoons, in the Central Library Community Meeting Room.

    Currently scheduled classes include:
    Marketing for the Holidays, September 19, 2013 2-5pm
    Starting Your Own Food Business, October 9, 2013 2-5pm
    The Impact of Health-Care Reform on Your Business, November 6, 2013 2-5pm
    Finding and Engaging Your Core Customer, December 4, 2013 2-5pm

  • East Bay SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives)
    The Central Library offers free, one-hour, one-on-one small-business counseling from a SCORE expert to anyone interested in starting or growing a business. Counseling sessions are by appointment only, Tuesdays between 4:30 and 7:30 and Saturdays between 1:30 and 4:30. Call the Reference Desk, 981-6148, to make an appointment. It is best to call at least a week ahead.

  • Small Business Administration
    The United States Small Business Administration provides information on federal business assistance and regulations.

Small Business Finance

In general, most small businesses will be unable to find grants or any other free source of financing. These agencies can help small businesses find loans.

Business Legal Assistance

  • The Berkeley Office of Economic Development
    The Berkeley Office of Economic Development offers Berkeley businesses personal assistance with choosing a location, licenses and regulations, demographic research, financing and special opportunities, and community associations.
  • Starting a Business in Berkeley
    An online guide to the legal and regulatory process of starting a business in Berkeley, from Berkeley's Office of Economic Development.
  • The California Secretary of State
    The California Secretary of State licenses and regulates California businesses, and offers information on other state agencies affecting businesses.
  • Small Business Administration
    The Small Business Administration provides information on federal business assistance and regulations.
  • CalGOLD
    CalGOLD has an interactive guide to all California state, county, and local licensing requirements for businesses.

More Help

  • AnewAmerica
    AnewAmerica assists with the establishment and expansion of micro businesses, for new citizens, immigrants, and refugees.
  • Go-Biz
    California Office of Business and Economic Development provides resources for starting a business, including information on state and local incentive programs.
  • Inner City Advisors
    Inner City Advisors offers free consulting services to inner-city companies.
  • Operation Hope
    Operation Hope is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs from low-wealth neighborhoods and offers both business training and financial counseling.
  • Pacific Community Ventures
    Pacific Community Ventures offers business advising to help create jobs and economic opportunity in lower-income communities.
  • Women's Initiative for Self-Employment
    Women's Initiative for Self-Employment provides high-potential low-income women with training, funding, and ongoing support to start their own businesses.

Library Books

The Library has hundreds of books on all aspects of running a small business. A few outstanding recent titles are listed here.

Local Business Associations And Information

  • Berkeley Information Network (BIN)
    BIN has information on local business associations, as well as over 2,000 other local nonprofits and government agencies.
  • Berkeley Startup Cluster
    A neighborhood organization focused on growing Downtown Berkeley's cluster of tech-oriented startups and established companies. It is a collaboration among UC Berkeley, the City of Berkeley, the East Bay Green Corridor, the Downtown Berkeley Association, the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce and private sector companies.
  • Berkeley Skydeck Startup Accelerator
    A collaboration between UC and local agencies and associations to encourage local businesses started by UC and LBL researchers.
    Local cities and universities to promote green businesses in the East Bay.
  • Locate in Berkeley
    This website lists vacant commercial space in Berkeley.

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