Skip to content

Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 9 pm
Friday: 9 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 1 – 5 pm

Wednesday, September 28, 2022  |  9 am – 9 pm

Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 9 pm
Friday: 9 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 1 – 5 pm

For Businesses


Microsoft Excel Intermediate

October 4, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Learn skills like inserting images, basic formulas, and using page breaks in this small, hands-on class. Content will be tailored to participants’ questions and interests. Bring your own laptop.

› Read More

Digital Skills for Seniors

October 5, 10:30am - 11:30am

Revised! Now funded by PLA Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive, supported by AT&T, this program now officially begins Wednesday, October 5 and will cover topics like  Getting Started on a Computer and Using a…

› Read More

Microsoft Word Intermediate

October 11, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Learn skills like inserting images, basic formulas, and using page breaks in this small, hands-on class. Content will be tailored to participants’ questions and interests. Bring your own laptop.

› Read More

View More Events

Business open sign

Everyone knows that starting and running a small business is tough. Between competition in the marketplace, competition from online retailers, and tech-savvy young consumers, keeping a local brick and mortar store open is an uphill battle. The library can help you develop your web presence and help you learn how to use social media tools to track local trends, tune in to consumer issues, and gain community perspective.

Receive monthly emails about tools that will help you start, improve, or grow your small business or non-profit.

Sign Up Now

Apply for a business library card to receive business benefits.

  • Shakespeare RoomPerfect for small business meetings or conferences.
  • Media Lab – Edit your audio and video recordings with a host of professional editing software. There’s even a mini-lighting studio you can set up to take quality pictures of your products.
  • Our Community Engagement and Instruction Librarian can provide hands-on instruction on how to use the library’s catalog and online resources, answer your technology questions, instruct a group on the physical and online resources available to business owners, or provide one-on-one instruction at the library or at your business.
  • L2B Communications

Glen Ellyn

Chicago Area


Starting a new business? Explore our online digital resources.

Planning 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.

Demographics and Market Research

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:

  • AtoZ : 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).
  • Blue Book Marketing Research : From the Marketing Research Association. Includes descriptions of fee-based marketing research companies, services, and facilities.
  • Census Business Builder : Small Business Edition contains key data for business plans or to better understand potential markets. It presents data for a single type of business and geography at a time.
  • 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.
  • Mergent Intellect : Business, financial and consumer data that you can use to generate insightful business intelligence.
  • QuickFacts : Get the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau about the community where you live and do business.
  • 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.
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics : Labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.


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:

Register Your Business

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.

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.

Your Intellectual Property

Beth Clower
Community Information Coordinator and Instruction Librarian

Elizabeth Clower

Staff Member Since: 2017
Favorite Book: The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? by Michael J. Sandel

Having trouble opening PDFs? Download Adobe Reader here.

Digital Library

A to Z logo A to Z
Access Video logo Access Video on Demand
FirstSearch logo FirstSearch
LinkedInLearning Logo LinkedIn Learning
Mergent intellect logo Mergent Intellect
public records database logo Public Records Database
Value line logo Value Line
chat loading...

Accessibility Toolbar