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CPL’s Geeks in Residence »
The Geeks in Residence provide free business and technology guidance at the Harold Washington Library Center.
Use these resources on any Chicago Public Library computer or on non-Library computers with your Chicago Public Library card.
Find industry news, including forecasts, from over 750 trade and industry publications as well as both local and national news from publications such as Crain's Chicago Business and the Wall Street Journal.
Business Plans Handbooks »
This collection offers entrepreneurs over four hundred actual business plans to use as models in developing their own.
Industry Overviews »
Find overviews, including history, current conditions, and leading firms, for over one thousand industries from The Encyclopedia of American Industries, The Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries, and The Encyclopedia of Global Industries.
Identify competitors and potential customers using the U.S. Businesses directory, or create lists of potential customers near your business using the U.S. Consumers/Lifestyles or U.S. Standard White Pages directories.
Search in the Library
- Starting a Small Business »
- Small Business Legal Guides »
- Incorporating Your Business »
- Forming a Limited Liability Company »
- Writing a Business Plan »
- Financing Your Business »
- Hiring Staff »
- Keeping the Books »
- Paying Taxes »
- Buying or Selling a Business »
- Buying a Franchise/Franchising Your Business »
- Starting a Home-based Business »
Featured CPL Collections and Programs
- Business, Science and Technology Division »
The Business, Science and Technology Division at the Harold Washington Library Center has resources that support small businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Law at the Library »
Law at the Library, an ongoing partnership with The Chicago Bar Association, is a free legal information series focusing on today’s hot legal issues, including small businesses.
- Money Smart »
In partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Chicago Public Library offers financial literacy programs year-round to help Chicagoans understand the business of money, gain control of their finances and learn overall wealth management.
- City of Chicago Business Assistance Center »
Starting a new business in Chicago? The Business Assistance Center can help you with licenses and permits as well as help connect you with other City departments.
- State of Illinois Business Portal »
Find extensive information about starting and running a business in Illinois, including information on registration, incorporation, licensing, taxes, incentives, etc.
- Small Business Administration »
Find numerous resources, including information about SBA loans, on the SBA's website, from help with writing a business plan to important things to know when selling your business. Information about local services offered by the Chicago District Office may be found under the Local Resources tab.
- SCORE »
SCORE offers a wealth of how-to articles and online tutorials that offer advice to businesspeople at all stages of the business development process. Free in-person counseling and low-cost workshops are offered by the local chapter.
- U.S. Census Bureau »
Find demographic information, industry statistics, NAICS and SIC codes, and more through programs such as the Decennial Census, American Community Survey, and Economic Census.
- Entrepreneur.com »
From the publishers of Entrepreneur magazine, this site offers current news on franchising, startup, financing, etc. for the small business.