Resources for Small Businesses 

Small businesses play a vital role in the community and face many special challenges. This list of resources is for small businesses and entrepreneurs considering taking the leap in to business ownership. With questions about accessing these or any of the resources available from the library, or to schedule a reference appointment with the Business Librarian, contact the Research Desk. 

Library Resources 

Gale Business Plan Builder – Formerly Gale Small Business Builder. Designed to help entrepreneurs create a professional Business Plan. Good for nonprofit as well. 

AtoZ Databases – Create lists of consumers or businesses from a database of 240 million residents and 30 million businesses and executives. 

Entrepreneurship booklist – Available to checkout from the library, titles to inspire and offer practical information. 

Federal and State Resources

Small Business Administration – The SBA offers a large variety of online training programs for small business management. 

Census Business Builder – Online tool from the U.S. Census Bureau allows users to customize census data in order to inform business planning. 

Library of Congress Small Business Hub – Research guide for small businesses, from the Library of Congress.  

Illinois Entrepreneurship Network – Resources from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, including COVID-19 assistance programs.   

Illinois Small Business Development Center at Harper College – Counselors are available by appointment to discuss individual situations and offer suggestions based on particular business problems and needs.  

State of Illinois Business Portal  – Useful links for starting, running, changing, and selling a business in Illinois.  

Web Resources 

FindLaw for Business – Legal information for businesses from Thomson Reuters. 

Thomas Register of American Manufacturers – Online directory of suppliers and buyers. 

SAM.gov – Contract opportunities with the federal government. 

Local Organizations

SCORE (Chicago) – One-on-one mentoring from experienced business owners and other learning opportunities. 

National Association for the Self-Employed 

National Association of Women Business Owners (Chicago Chapter) 

Women’s Business Development Center – Business advising, mentoring, and more services for emerging and established businesses, including support for veteran-owned businesses. 

Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce 

Mount Prospect Downtown Merchants Association