E-seed, SCORE, & Small Business Startup resources

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Library Items

APL's eLibrary page

website, database

Appleton Public Library's list of electronic resources and database subscriptions. Limit by 'business' to list all databases with business information; together, they include articles and info on topics listed in the following Subjects section.

articles, business demographics, consumer profiles, direct mail, entrepreneurship, industry news / outlooks, new business enterprises, planning, trade journals, trends

Appleton City Directory

RR.917.7539 Fox

Marketing resource, identify customers, contains demographic information. Search by Name, Phone#, or Address.

consumer profiles


(linked to from www.apl.org/e)

Find Business and Consumer information.

business demographics, competitors, consumer profiles, direct mail, local (Fox Valley), market share, sales prospecting, site selection, supplier searching

Business Source Premiere

(listed at www.apl.org/e)

Full text for more than 2,300 journals, including full text for more than 1,100 peer-reviewed titles. Find full text back to 1886, and searchable cited references back to 1998. This database is updated daily on EBSCOhost.

articles, economic projections, industry news / outlooks, planning, trends

Community Sourcebook of Zip Code Demographics

R.339.2 Com

Customer and market intelligence solutions to help businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits with customer profiling, site evaluation and selection, market evaluation and planning, etc.

consumer profiles, market research and evaluation, planning, site selection



Data.census.gov is the new platform to access data and digital content from the U.S. Census Bureau. The vision for data dissemination through data.census.gov is to improve the customer experience by making data available from one centralized place so that data users spend less time searching for data content and more time using it.  For guidance on using data.census.gov, please see the Resources page at www.census.gov/data/adrm/what-is-data-census-gov.html.

American FactFinder was retired on March 31, 2020.

The Census site also hosts the online version of Statistical Abstracts (1889-2012).

government resource, historical data, statistics

Editor and Publisher Market Guide

R.070 Edi

Economic and demographic projections, quality of life data, census information.

economic projections, quality of life data

Encyclopedia of Associations

R.060 Enc

Guide to more than 22,000 National and International Organizations. Includes information such as address, phone number, publications, number of members and much more.

professional associations and organizations, trade journals

Fox Cities Chamber Business

WI.R.330.9775 Fox

Profiles local, northeast Wisconsin small businesses; provides topics of interest for small business owners; highlights local individuals impacting the business world.

local (Fox Valley), new business enterprises

InfoSoup: entrepreneurship

650.1 & 658's

Appleton Public Library's books on entrepreneurship are located on the second floor in the 650.1 and 658 general call number area.


InfoSoup: laws and legislation


Appleton Public Library's books on laws and legislation for business are located on the second floor in the 346.065 general call number area.

laws and legislation

InfoSoup: new business enterprises

346.0652 & 658's

Appleton Public Library's books on new business enterprises are located on the second floor in the 346.0652 and 658 general call number areas.

new business enterprises

Market Share Reporter

R.380.1 Mar

Data is found by SIC Code
– market share data on companies, products and services
- gives an idea of trends in an industry and contains historical trends

historical data, market share, trends

NAICS - North American Industry Classification

book, website
R.338 Nor, www.census.gov/eos/www/naics

Used by business and government to classify business establishments according to type of economic activity (process of production) in Canada, Mexico and the United States.


Regional Business News

(listed at www.apl.org/e)

This database provides comprehensive full text coverage for regional business publications. Regional Business News incorporates coverage of 75 business journals, newspapers and newswires from all metropolitan and rural areas within the United States. This database is updated on a daily basis.

articles, industry news / outlooks

RMA Annual Statement Studies

R.338.7 RMA

Key financial ratios and benchmarks for industries, plus historical data for following the trends in an industry. Historical trends back to 1998 for some industries. Arranged by industry and SIC or NAICS; data is found by SIC Code
– market share data on companies, products and services
– gives an idea of trends in an industry

benchmarks, financial ratios, historical data, market share, trends

SIC - Standard Industrial Classification

book, website
R.338 Uni 1987, www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sicsearch.html

A US government system for classifying industries. An industry consists of a group of establishments primarily engaged in producing or handling the same product or group of products or in rendering the same services. Each industry is given a four digit number to identify it.

Established in 1937, SIC is being supplanted by the six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which was released in 1997; however certain government departments and agencies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), still use the SIC codes.


Small Business Reference Center

(listed at www.apl.org/e)

Access the much more user-friendly interface by connecting through EBSCOhost and then scrolling down to click on "Small Business Reference Center."

This database offers a wide variety of information on small business and entrepreneurial subject areas, common business types, a help and advice section, and provides information on how to create business plans that lead to successful funding.

articles, industry news / outlooks, new business enterprises, planning

Standard Periodical Directory

RR.051 Sta

Listing of magazines and trade journals by subject.

trade journals

Statistical Abstract of the United States


1879-2012. Summary of statistics on the social, political and economic organization of the United States.

The U.S. Census Bureau terminated the collection of data for the Statistical Compendia program effective October 1, 2011. The Statistical Compendia program is comprised of the Statistical Abstract of the United States and its supplemental products—the State and Metropolitan Area Data Book and the County and City Data Book. To access the most current data, please refer to the organizations cited in the source notes for each table of the Statistical Abstract.

government resource, historical data

The Business News

WI.R.330.9775 Bus

Serving Brown, Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano & Winnebago counties. In every issue: Legal; Hal Becker; Healthcare; Manufacturing; People; Technology; Finance; Growth Strategies; The List (ex: largest area credit unions, ranked by total assets); Strategic Planning; For The Record (public records to help you identify new/expanding companies and new customers, and financial condition of vendors, customers, or competitors); Stock Trends; Real Estate; Opinion; Commentary.

competitors, consumer profiles, local (Fox Valley), new business enterprises, planning

Wisconsin Business Directory

RR.330.9775 Wis

A sales and marketing tool. Good for sales prospecting, direct mail campaigns, market research and supplier searches.

direct mail, market research and evaluation, sales prospecting, supplier searching

Wisconsin Business Manufacturers Directory

RR.670 Wis

Provides access to business demographics, potential sales leads and helps identify competitors in specific markets.

business demographics, competitors, sales prospecting

Wisconsin Business Service Directory

RR.338.4 Wis

Provides access to business demographics, potential sales leads and helps identify competitors in specific markets.

business demographics, competitors, sales prospecting
Free Websites



"BizStats is the home of free, accurate business statistics – well organized and easy to access." Search for industry financial benchmark reports, industry profitability risk data, and useful industry statistics. Find free financial calculators, financial tools for your web site, and financial glossaries. You can also create a custom industry Profit & Loss benchmark by inputting sales information.

benchmarks, financial ratios, statistics

Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition


Key economic data helps you determine the feasibility of opening a certain kind of business in a given geographic location. Dynamically generated, downloadable, and printable business county- and city -level reports (including trend charts) can be easily incorporated into your business plan and research.

government resource, local (Fox Valley), market research and evaluation, market share, new business enterprises, planning, site selection, statistics, trends

Census: Business & Industry Economic Statistics


Economic Census and Indicators, with data by Sector: Economy-Wide, Construction, Governments, International Trade, Manufacturing, Retail Trade, Services, Wholesale Trade, and Other Sectors

Special Topics, such as Business Dynamics, Business Expenses, Concentration, E-Commerce, Economic Studies, Historical Data, NAICS, North American Product Classification System (NAPCS), Small Business, and Survey of Business Owners (selected economic and demographic characteristics for businesses and business owners by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status).

Don't miss these featured sites listed under "Other Economic Programs": County Business Patterns, Monthly & Annual Retail Trade, Monthly & Annual Wholesale Trade, and Nonemployer Statistics.


articles, benchmarks, classification, government resource, historical data, statistics

Esri ZIP Code Lookup


Type in your ZIP Code to see demographic and lifestyle information about your neighborhood. Esri's Tapestry™ Lifestyle Segmentation classifies the US population into 67 market segments and provides comprehensive lifestyle details.

This is an online alternative to the print Community Sourcebook of Zip Code Demographics.

consumer profiles, market research and evaluation, planning, site selection

Industry Statistics Portal


Business data by the US Census Bureau by Industry.

The Industry Statistics Portal will no longer be supported as of March 31,2020.

government resource, industry news / outlooks, statistics

LIFE Study - Brown County


Nearly 800 community leaders and 1,500 scientifically selected households received a survey asking them to share their thoughts on various aspects of life in Brown County. The report offers a comprehensive, timely synopsis of data, surveys, and expert sector panels on key areas of community health from a wide variety of objective, reputable, original and published sources.

local (Fox Valley)

LIFE Study - Fox Cities


Nearly 200 indicators related to demographic, economic, social and health aspects of community life in the Fox Cities are presented, with benchmarking against select counties, Wisconsin, and the nation, with trending information.

local (Fox Valley)

Office of Consumer Goods


The US Dept of Commerce's OCG analysts study the competitiveness of U.S. industries, among other things. Click on a Major Industry in the left column to link to sources for industry news (associations and publications) and industry outlooks.

government resource, industry news / outlooks



"SCORE offers the nation's largest, network of free, expert business mentors.

"If you're just starting a business, SCORE mentors can provide the practical action plan, education and tools you need to open your doors and establish a customer base. Already own a business? Our volunteer mentors can help identify ways to increase profit, improve employee and customer satisfaction, and achieve work/ life balance."

entrepreneurship, market research and evaluation, new business enterprises, planning, professional associations and organizations, sales prospecting

Small Business Development Center Clearinghouse


Free Market Research reports. Their "mission is to support the business research and information needs of the nation’s network of 1,100+ Small Business Development Centers...and their small business clients."

government resource, market research and evaluation

US Bureau of Economic Analysis (Dept. of Commerce)


National Accounts

BEA's national economic program provides a quantitative view of US domestic production, consumption, and investment, of exports and imports, and of national and domestic income and saving. It features the estimates of GDP, which is one of the most closely watched of all economic statistics. Each month, BEA releases updated estimates of GDP for the previous quarter and new estimates of personal income and outlays for the previous month. Estimates of the Nation's stock of fixed assets and consumer durable goods are prepared and published annually. Learn more about National Accounts...

Regional Accounts

BEA’s Regional Economic Accounts program produces detailed data on economic activity by region, state, metropolitan area, and county. Estimates of GDP by state—the most comprehensive and BEA’s preferred measure of economic activity—are released six months after the reference year. Estimates of personal income by state are released each quarter, as well as annually. Estimates of personal income by county and metropolitan area are prepared annually. BEA also prepares estimates of regional economic multipliers for any grouping of counties for a fee. Learn more about Regional Accounts...

Industry Accounts

BEA's Industry Economic Program produces the input-output tables, which show how industries interact to provide input to, and take output from, each other. Comprehensive, benchmark input-output tables are prepared every 5 years, and they are updated in less detail by annual input-output tables. The industry program also produces the annual gross product by industry data, which measure the contribution of each private industry and government to the GDP. Learn more about Industry Accounts...

International Accounts

This BEA program produces the quarterly balance of payments accounts and the monthly services estimates, which provide a detailed view of economic transactions between the United States and other countries. In addition, BEA produces the direct investment estimates, which are based on annual and quarterly BEA surveys of US direct investment abroad, foreign direct investment in the United States, income flows associated with those investments, and other economic activities of multinational enterprises. This program also produces the international investment position estimates. Learn more about International Accounts...

government resource, industry news / outlooks, statistics

US Securities & Exchange Commission Filings & Forms


"All companies, foreign and domestic, are required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR. Anyone can access and download this information for free. Here you'll find links to a complete list of filings available through EDGAR and instructions for searching the EDGAR database."

990s & other Financial Reports, business demographics, government resource

US Small Business Administration


"Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses."

government resource, new business enterprises, planning

US Small Business Administration: Office of Women's Business Ownership


"The SBA’s Women’s Business Center Program comprises a national network of WBCs providing business training, counseling and other resources to help women start and grow successful businesses."

entrepreneurship, government resource, new business enterprises, planning

WebWire: Trade Publications by Industry


Lists of trade publications organized by category.

trade journals

WI Business Answer Line


WI Small Business Development Center staff can answer questions related to business planning, business permits or licenses, insurance, obtaining business financing, start-up tips, and more. The service is free.

government resource, local (Fox Valley), new business enterprises, planning

WI Regional Economic Analysis Project


Examine and assess changing economic conditions and trends of counties or regions within Wisconsin.

government resource, local (Fox Valley), market research and evaluation, trends