Community and Online Resources
COD Small Business Development Center
Chicago Consumer’s Checkbook
Fox Valley SCORE
Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce
Morningstar Investment Research Center
Small Business Seminars
Access one-of-a-kind resources for business owners, including marketing research databases, business plans, industry journals, business ebooks and audiobooks, and much more, from your home or office with help from the Glen Ellyn Public Library. The library can assist you in developing your web presence through Google, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn; or learn how to use social media tools to track local trends, tune in to consumer issues, and gain community perspective.
Check out hard copy magazines of Entrepreneur, Harvard Business Review, Smart Money, and Crain’s Chicago Business to stay abreast of general business news and trends. Browse the library catalog for books (and ebooks and audiobooks) on taxes, business management, marketing, human resources, and much more.The first step is for your owner or manager to apply for a library business card. Find out what you need to apply for a library business card.
Additionally, you can request a one-on-one visit from a librarian to your place of business, where you can get hands-on instruction on how to use the library’s catalog and online resources, or get answers to your technology questions. Contact Elizabeth Clower at email@example.com or 630-790-6750 for more information.
Business Start-Up Resources
Starting a new business? Check out the library’s databases or check out other helpful links.
- Starting a Business in Illinois: A great overview from the Illinois Small Business Development Center.
Planning Your Business to Realize Your Dream
A business plan is essential to helping you organize your ideas. Any financial backers (banks, etc.) will want to see your business plan before approving a loan. You need not purchase special software to create your plan; reviewing sample plans and using the resources below should give you a head start on creating your own. The Glen Ellyn Public Library offers over 450 different sample plans through Gale Virtual Reference Library’s online Business Plans Handbook Series. You can also check out the following links:
- Business Plans and Finance Templates from SBA’s SCORE
- How to Write a Business Plan from the Small Business Administration
- The One-Page Business Plan from The $100 Startup (Available at GEPL)
Demographics and Market Research Tools
Doing smart research is a great way to gain insight into your community’s demand for your product or service. You can pinpoint where to focus your marketing efforts, and to whom. You may find the following resources helpful:
- AtoZdatabases from the Glen Ellyn Public Library: Create and export mailing lists and sales leads from this database of 220 million U.S. residents and 50 million U.S. businesses (Must have a GEPL card to log in).
- Small Business Administration State Profiles: Gather detailed information on small business at the state level, including demographics of owners, small business income, business turnover, and employment gains and losses by size of business.
- Blue Book Marketing Research: From the Marketing Research Association. Includes descriptions of fee-based marketing research companies, services, and facilities.
- QuickFacts: Get the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau about the community where you live and do business.
- Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports: Newly available to the public, information produced by the CRS for the United States Congress. Continually updated to provide timely, objective, and authoritative research and analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate. Use appropriate keywords, such as “small business” to begin.
There’s no such thing as “free money;” however, you can apply for seed money grants from government and local agencies, and bank loans are available for small businesses. Some resources to check out include:
- Loans and Grants info from the SBA: Get the facts, advice, and eligibility information about small business loans and government grants.
- Illinois Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP): A federally funded grant program that assists Illinois communities in financing economic development, public facilities, and housing rehabilitation projects.
- Grants from the Federal Government: Find out if your small business is eligible for government funding.
- Business Owner’s Toolkit – Getting Financing for Your Business: Learn the ins and outs of determining the money you need, the best lender for your business, and how to ensure a smooth approval process.
- Business Owner’s Toolkit – Loans from Banks: Read advice on the process of getting a bank loan through different types of lenders.
Business Registration Application Forms
In order to operate your business, you’ll need to register with the state. Links to printable applications are below.
Choosing a name is part of the registration process. Use the naming sources below to choose an original name (and avoid trademark violation).
- Advice on Naming Your Business: Learn about the different rules of naming different types of businesses. Also, learn how to file a DBA (“doing business as”) document, if you plan to operate your business under a different name than the one it is officially filed under.
- Corporate Name Database: Check to see if the name you like is already taken. Also includes a link to a Corporate Name Availability Request.
- United States Patent and Trademark Office: Check to see if the name you are thinking about is already trademarked.
Taxes and the IRS
To pay taxes on your business, you’ll need to file with the IRS. The IRS also provides a wealth of online resources for small business tax help.
- Business Owner’s Toolkit: Choosing a Form of Organization: Whether you’re purchasing an existing business or starting one from scratch, you must decide which form of organization is best for your company.
- EIN Application Form: Apply for your EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS here.
- Employer’s Tax Guide: Official IRS document with nuts-and-bolts of taxes for businesses with employees.
- Tax Guide for Small Businesses: Most recent available IRS guide.
- Self-Employment Tax Center: If you are self-employed, get your business tax information here.
Hiring and Employees
- Federal OSHA: If you have one or more employees, you are subject to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) guidelines. Learn about them here.
- Hiring Employees: Resources from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. You must register your business within 30 days of hiring employees.
- Illinois Department of Labor: Be in-the-know about state laws and regulations concerning occupational health and safety.
- Illinois Department of Insurance: Get the latest news on insurance laws and procedures for Illinois businesses.