Start your business research at the Library

Photo of man with briefcase and laptopIf you are thinking of starting your own business or you have a business and want to keep up with trends, you can save yourself some time by using the industry and market research databases that the Library offers. We provide access to a range of premium information (which isn’t available for free on the Internet) and through these resources, you can research a market sector or industry to get background information and data for a business plan or marketing plan.

The Sorkins Business Directory of Business and Government is a great way to search, sort and download company profiles and prospect lists from St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago. This resource is helpful for creating a list of business contacts, updating your customer relations, and researching a targeted business.

We also offer Demographics Now, a fantastic product that provides access to highly detailed U.S. demographic, residential and business data. If you’re looking for information on choosing a business location, targeting your market, profiling current and potential customers and more, this is the resource for you!

Reference USA has a collection of helpful business databases. You may use the U.S. Businesses to search millions of businesses and U.S. Historical Businesses allows you to search for businesses from 2003 to 2013 to help visualize changes and trends over time. You may also create marketing lists and information using the U.S. Consumers/Lifestyles statistics. 

In addition to these resources, the Library offers Gale Small Business Builder, which takes you through starting, managing and organizing a business or nonprofit.  This powerful and user-friendly product goes step-by-step to complete a business plan, write bylaws, and much more.

You may find all of these resources (and others) by going to our website at, choosing Digital Content, going to Subject and choosing “See All” to get to the category of Business, Finance and Law (or just click on any of these hyperlinks).  At Central Library, we’re happy to help introduce you to these products, so ask any of our friendly staff in the Science and Technology Room (1st floor) or Social Sciences Room (2nd floor).  

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of St. Louis Public Library