Thursday, June 01, 2006

Small Business Startups Start at the Public Library

This article outlines how public libraries are reaching small businesses. Here are the libraries that are highlighted.

  • At the Johnson County (Kans.) Library, a series of small business seminars teaches the basics of starting and running a business, from obtaining start-up capital to managing finances. Denise Upah Mills absorbed valuable information on proper methods for networking by attending numerous seminars and was able to start her first company, "Invisiband," whose mission was to increase penetration of broadband Internet service to residents of rural cities. She sold the firm for a profit and started a second firm, "Six Degrees Solutions," which helps other business owners develop stronger business relationships and create strategic alliances through networking with other owners in their area.
  • The Brooklyn Public Library hosts a discussion series called "You Can Do It, Too," where local business owners share stories about starting their company using the library's small business resources. The library also conducts their annual "PowerUP!: Your Business Starts Here" competition, open to aspiring Brooklyn-based businesses that require start-up capital. The competition provided Farid Ali and George Constantinou with the knowledge and financial resources to open their successful restaurant, Bogota Café Bistro, in Brooklyn's trendy Park Slope neighborhood.
  • The San Diego Public Library proved helpful to Joy Lynn de la Rén, who successfully started a mail-order company, "Caring Products Inc.," by using the San Diego Central Library's outreach program, "Business Resources & Technology Link" to learn about business essentials such as patents, trademark, copyrights, successful Internet marketing and e-commerce.
  • The Library System of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania's "Biz Info to Grow: BIG," a series of seminars and access to print and online resources, helped Sam and Jo Farner start their concierge company, "Extra Time For You." The Farners visited the library for two years, attending workshops and poring through demographic and economic data to build their corporate client list. Sam and Jo continue to visit the library to look for new ways to further grow their thriving firm.

What does your library do to reach the business community? NTRLS has two consultants with business backgrounds who can help you develop outreach programs for the business communities. Give us a call.

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