9/15/2010 -Libraries Mean Business in the North Country

PLATTSBURGH (15 Sept 2010) _The Clinton-Essex-Franklin (CEFLS) Library system announced today that is has purchased a new online market research tool, Business Decision.  The CEFLS received funds to purchase this subscription through a federal LSTA grant entitled “Small Libraries Mean Business” administered by the New York State Library Division of Library Development.  The project  will literally “open libraries for business” with this cutting edge research tool, which is available online to all residents of Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties who have a library card.  Residents can also stop by their community library to log-on to the database and get help using this resource.    

“The purpose of this grant is to help expand the resources available to small business owners through community libraries,” said Julie Wever, CEFLS Outreach Services, who collaborated in the development of this grant proposal.  “We worked with the North Country Small Business Development Center (NCSBDC) to help identify a resource that would best benefit the diverse small and non-profit business user groups in our communities.”

The database is available online through the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System’s website (www.cefls.org) or in person at all CEFLS community libraries.  It will provide library users, small business owners, researchers, government agency personnel in the Clinton-Essex-Franklin with area specific detailed demographic information and business statistics.  This data can help any small business complete a detailed market analysis of very specific, user-defined geographic areas.   

Business Decision uses a series of geographical information system (GIS) based databases such as the U.S. Census to provide social, economic, business and environmental data that has many analytical applications.  For small business owners, reports on population, age and even retail goods/service expenditures can be generated for their own defined market area.

Public libraries in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties will be partnering with the NCSBDC throughout the project to facilitate training workshops for the public on how to utilize BusinessDecision. Instruction will be hands-on to provide personal market reports for their businesses.   A “train the trainer” series and other support will be provided by NCSBDC staff to librarians at several centralized library locations throughout the library system’s service area.

“Throughout the fall and winter, local library staff members will be trained to better assist our small business patrons who are creating or updating their business plans or anyone who may be doing a research project that requires a detailed demographic analysis of a specific geographic region, ” said CEFLS Director Ewa Jankowska.  Business Decision will also help public libraries take an in-depth look at the communities they serve, which will help them to really focus their services and get the most out of local budget dollars.”

Accessing the database is as easy as owning a library card. Registered borrowers of any CEFLS member public library can use their library card numbers as pass codes through the library system’s web site (www.cefls.org) or by visiting any member public library for access and help.  


 

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The North Country Small Business Development Center is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the US Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.