Finding Business and Industry Information


The Library Can Help

If you're thinking about starting your own business, the Library has resources that can help. This guide will show you the online and Library resources to use to find your target market, plan your business for success, navigate legal and financial hurdles, market your business effectively, and more.

If you see a resource that you're interested in, there's no need to stop your reading to look it up or write it down. You can simply add the resource to your Links Basket and either access them or print them out later once you're finished. There are too many good resources to let one slip, and the Links Basket will keep them all together for you in one place. Tons of valuable information are waiting for you at the Library, so take a peek and get the knowledge you need.

National, State & County


Statistical Abstract of the United States


The Florida Statistical Abstract is published annually by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) at the University of Florida. It is a good starting point for state data. It provides social and economic statistics on Florida and its counties. Its sources are the U.S. Census and other data from State, Federal, and private agencies.

State and County

The Complete Economic and Demographic Data Source(CEDDS) (Woods & Poole Economics Inc.)

Databases and Websites

Databases that Provide Statistics

Websites with Statistics


National, State, & Local

National & State

Community Sourcebook of Zip Code Demographics

This publication includes business data for zip codes and maps.

Use this source when determining demographics or market potential in specific areas.

Demographics USA: County Edition

Metropolitan and demographic area rankings for specific characteristics - identify geographic areas that match characteristics of your product or service.

Local The Market Profile Analysis contains statistical information on a number of business topics for the Central Florida region. These statistics include:

In addition, the Market Profile Analysis contains full-color census tract maps of the areas for which statistics have been gathered.

BEBR (Bureau of Economic and Business Research) at the University of Florida publishes numerous statistical reports. The Florida County Perspectives provides detailed data for a single county. The Orlando Public Library retains current and previous reports for Central Florida counties: Orange, Lake, Seminole, and Osceola.

Other BEBR reports available at the Library include:

Databases and Websites




Regional, National & International

Whether you need to locate competitors or develop prospects, these directories are available for use in the library.




Databases and Websites


  • Business Insights: Essentials - Provides detailed information on 300,000 domestic and international companies.
  • Reference USA - Provides detailed information on more than 12.8 million U.S. businesses; 120 million U.S. residents.
  • SimplyMap - Create maps and reports using powerful demographic, business, and marketing data. The database also includes points-of-Interest (POI) data including legal name, business name, NAIC codes, address, telephone number, and web address.
  • Standard & Poors NetAdvantage - Independent professional analysis and ratings for over 5,000 U.S. companies, 9,700 corporate bonds, and over 14,000 mutual funds.
  • Websites

    Other Business Topics


    Bond's Franchise Guide offers the prospective franchisee detailed profiles of over 1,000 franchises, as well as listings of franchise attorneys, consultants and service providers.

    How to Buy a Franchise by James A. Meaney explains what you need to know about how to research a franchise company, analyze its financial and sales information and investigate the earnings claims of the franchisor.

    Entrepreneur Magazine's Ultimate Book of Franchises combines comprehensive franchise listings with practical advice and in-depth facts on over 1,000 franchise qualifications, financial stability ratings.


    How to Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins - The author claims that, after failing during the first six months of his career in sales, he learned and applied the best sales techniques, then earned more than one million dollars in just three years.

    The Art of Closing Any Deal by James W. Pickens - It's a new millennium, and technology has transformed the way of doing business. But one thing hasn't changed. And that's the old-fashioned people savvy and skill every selling professional needs to overcome any barrier and close the deal.


    Visit the Orlando Public Library to access the Foundation Directory Online and print publications provided by the Foundation Center for grant and foundation information.

    The Foundation Center's Guide to Grantseeking on the Web - A selective rather than comprehensive index of available philanthropic sites on the Web, intended as an introduction not only to the most useful sites, but also to procedures for getting the most out of time doing funding research online.

    Grant Writing for Dummies by Bev Browning offers a practical desktop reference for business owners, contract bid staff, and new grant writers needing step-by-step guidance, as well as veteran grant writers seeking to increase their funding success rates.

    Winning Grants Step By Step - This guidebook will take novice grant seekers through the process of finding grants and writing proposals. Experienced grant writers will find it to be a good refresher in the mechanics of grant seeking.

    Customer Service

    Customer Service Training 101 - This book covers every aspect of customer relations using simple and powerful tips. It includes self-assessments, practice exercises, and much more. This book is a must read for supervisors of front-line personnel.

    When Fish Fly: lessons for creating a vital and energized workplace from the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market by John Yokoyama and Joseph A. Michelli - In this revealing business advice book, the magic of Seattle's Pike Place Fish Market proves a dynamic example of what a group of people can create when they are aligned and living a powerful vision.