Research & Study Tools  

Business & Investing


Howell Business Use Library Card

Howell business owners can get a library card for their company. Download the application

Business Research Assistance

If you're having trouble finding the information you need to start or grow your business, we can help! Complete and submit our online Request for Business Research Assistance Form (PDF 236KB). Or, complete and print the form and bring it to the Reference Desk and our staff will work with you to find the resources and information that will put you on the right track.

Printable summary of our online & print business resources/services. (PDF 6.07MB)

Upcoming Workshops

 Pre-registration begins Monday, December 9, 2013

Understanding Financial Statements for Your Business 
Wednesday, January 15 at 6:30pm. Financial statements are a critical aspect of any business. Ann Arbor SCORE counselor, Ed Krupa  will help you overcome your fear of numbers, learn the relationships of financial statements, and use them to manage your business successfully.

Wednesday, January 22 at 6:30pm. Effective leadership is crucial to businesses of every size. Stewart Brannen is the Faculty Chair of Entrepreneurship and Leadership at Cleary University, and is the Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He also serves as the principal leadership instructor in the Leadership Livingston program. His presentation will center on the importance of developing self and social awareness and the universal traits associated with leadership in today's world.

Strategic Marketing For Your Business 
Wednesday, January 29 at 6:30pm. Strategic marketing will drive your marketing program to success. Steve Feinman, Director of Michigan SCORE, will help you understand how marketing will grow your business and define your image.

Cash Flow - The Life of Your Business  CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER! This program has been rescheduled for Wednesday, May 14 at 6:30pm
Wednesday, February 5 at 6:30pm. Just like blood brings nourishment to your body, cash flow defines the success and life of your business. Ann Arbor SCORE counselor, Ed Krupa will help your understand the elements of cash, how to control the flow to your benefit, and provide the funds to grow your business.

The Business Canvas - Another Way to Create Your Business Plan 
Wednesday, February 19 at 6:30pm. Create value in your business and build a model that will transform your organization. The Model Canvas is a tool to describe, analyze, and design business models for success. Look at your business with a different view. Presented by Steve Feinman, Director of Michigan SCORE.

Credit Reports - Understanding How Your Personal & Businss Reports Affect Your Business 
Wednesday, March 5 at 6:30pm. Learn what determines your credit score and how to improve it. Learn how to correct errors on your report that can limit your credit availability. Understand all of the factors that lenders use to evaluate your credit worthiness. Presented by Ann Arbor SCORE Counselor, Ed Krupa.

Social Media Marketing For Your Business 
Wednesday, March 19 at 6:30pm. Your customers are using social media daily to find what they need. Do they know how to find you?  Learn tips on best practices for using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest to promote your business from Cyndi Lieske of First Impression Group.

Issues in Buying & Selling a Business 
Wednesday, April 2 at 6:30pm. There is a lot to consider when purchasing a business. Ann Arbor SCORE Counselor, Ed Krupa will guide you through the important questions you need to ask both yourself and the seller. Find out how to evaluate the value of a business for sale, and what you should do to position your business for sale.

Manage & Plan Your Business Website 
Wednesday, April 16 at 6:30pm. What are the considerations in building & managing a web site? Ann Arbor SCORE Counselor Terry Grover will show you how to evaluate your current website and give tips on improving its importance.

Should I Buy a Franchise? 
Wednesday, April 30 at 6:30pm. What are the benefits of considering a franchise when looking for the right business opportunity for you? Steve Feinman, Director of Michigan SCORE, will show you how to evaluate a franchise proposal and pick the correct match.


Indicates premium resources that may be used anywhere with your Howell Library Card.

MeLIndicates content that is provided by MeL, the Michigan eLibrary.

Business Planning

Business Decision  
Combines geographic information system (GIS) technology with extensive business, demographic and consumer household data to help grow and develop your business. You will need to create an account to use this database.

Business Owner's Toolkit
Guides, tools, & templates for small businesses.

Business Plans & Financial Statement Templates
Downloadable template gallery from SCORE

Business Plans Handbook
Find inspiration for your business plan in these detailed business plans written by entrepreneurs.

Business USA
Official business resources link to the U.S. Government.

Does Your Business Need a License?
Search the state's licensing website to see if your business needs to be licensed.
Resources and articles for startups from business plans to finance & marketing.

Resources and tools for Michigan business owners, powered by the MORE program.

IRS Starting a Business
Information and resources from the Internal Revenue Service.

Livingston County Clerk's Office
Information and FAQ's for starting a business in Livingston County.

Michigan Business One Stop
Resources and tools from the State of Michigan.

Professional and Occupational License Search
Verify a license, registration, or permit.

Small Business Resource Center
Learn how to start, finance, or manage your small business. Resources include sample business plans, how-to guides, articles and websites.

Start-up forms from the State of Michigan
For corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and limited partnerships.

Source for small business advice, help starting a business, & entrepreneur forums.


Business Law

FindLaw for Business
Locate legal information related to business topics.

Official, State Specific, Federal, Business, Personal, Real Estate and General forms covering hundreds of legal subjects and issues.


Grow and Manage Your Business

Contract Connect
Your guide to doing business with the State of Michigan.

Getting a Barcode
How to obtain a barcode for your product.

Great Lakes Angels
Accredited investors who promote entrepreneurship by investing capital.

IRS Small Business & Self-Employed Tax Center
Provides extensive tax information and online tools.

Lansing Area Economic Partnership.

PTACS of Michigan
The Procurement Technical Assistance Centers of Michigan provides local businesses with the resources and know-how to successfully obtain government contracts.

Trade Show News Network
Global resource for trade shows and exhibitions. Searchable by industry.



Business Support Organizations

Automation Alley
A technology cluster that promotes productivity, innovation & new business growth.

Business Development - Livingston County SPARK
Livingston County demographics.

Entrepreneurial Services - Livingston County SPARK
Links to entrepreneurial services and resources available throughout the area to help you define the opportunity, develop your business plan and find resources to help you grow.

Howell Chamber Resources
Program handouts, presentations, and links to valuable resources for local businesses.

Michigan Advantage
Find quick facts about Michigan business, start-up financing, labor information & more from the Michigan Department of Economic Development.

Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center
Provides resources and tools for small businesses in Michigan.

MI-SBTDC Online Resources Guide
Comprehensive guide to online resources for businesses.

The SBDC National Information Clearinghouse serves the Small Business Development Center Network and America's small business community. Market research reports and more for small businesses.

Resources for business growth.

U.S. Small Business Administration
Planning tools and services.


Company & Industry Information
Searchable database of company annual reports.

Business Entity Search
Search for company records of all kinds through the Michigan Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

EDGAR Corporate Information
Searchable database of SEC filings.

Fortune 500
The current list plus archives and company snapshots.

General Business File ASAP 
Provides access to broker research reports, trade publications, newspapers, journals and company directory listings.

North American Industry Classification System

Detailed information on millions of U.S. and Canadian businesses; searchable by company name, geographic area, yellow pages heading, and more. Additional databases cover U.S. Healthcare and Consumers/Lifestyles.Updated annually. New to ReferenceUSA? Try these video tutorials.

SIC Codes
Standard Industry Classification Codes.

Thomas Register
Comprehensive online resource for finding companies and products manufactured in North America.


International Business

Business Insights: Global MeL
Research and analyze companies, industries, and economies around the world.

Doing Business
Provides objective measures of business regulations that impact economic growth in 183 economies and selected cities at the subnational level.
Resources, webinars and solutions to help businesses export. "Doing Business In" guides for more than 100 countries.

Global Edge
A knowledge web-portal that connects international business professionals worldwide to a wealth of information, insights, and learning resources on global business activities. Created by the International Business Center at Michigan State University
Online directory of International Service Providers. Market analysis & tips.

International Market Research
Market profiles of countries from the U.S. Commercial Service.

Powerspeak Languages
Provides users with the ability to learn, apply and enjoy a new language quickly and more proficiently using a variety of proven methods that engage all types of learners. Courses offered include Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean. ESL for Spanish and Chinese speakers is also offered.

A world of information from the United Nations Statistics Division.

U.S. Department of State Business Center
Business support, trade policies, and country commercial guides.


Business Statistics

Consumer Price Index
Monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.

Current Employment Statistics
Detailed industry data on employment, hours, and earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economic Census
Profiles U.S. national and local economies every five years.

Economic Indicators
Monthly releases of key economic indicators from the Bureau of Economic Analysis & the U.S. Census Bureau.

FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data)
Search & download regional and national financial and economic data.

Livingston County Demographics
Local demographcis from the U.S. Census Bureau

Michigan Labor Market Information
Employment trends, wages, and jobs in demand.

Population and Economic Data for Michigan
County business patterns and other demographic info.

Producer Price Index
Average change over time in the selling prices received by domestic producers for their output.

Demographic, transportation, economic, land use, and public safety information from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

Survey of Current Business
Articles on the latest national, international, regional & industry economic estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis


Marketing: Demographics/Consumer Habits & Trends

AARP Surveys and Statistics
National and state-based research on the needs, concerns, and interests of AARP members and the 50+ population as a whole.

American Customer Satisfaction Index
The ACSI produces indexes for 10 economic sectors, 47 industries (including e-commerce and e-business), more than 230 companies, and over 100 federal or local government services.

American FactFinder
Population, housing, economic, and geographic information.

American Time Use Survey
Statistical survey on how we spend our time.

Census Atlas of the United States
Topics ranging from language and ancestry characteristics to housing patterns and geographic population distribution. Nearly 800 maps are included.

Consumer Expenditure Survey
Information on the buying habits of American consumers, including data on their expenditures, income, and consumer unit (families and single consumers) characteristics.

County/Zip Code Business Patterns
Subnational economic data by industry & establishments/employee size.

Demographics Now Library Edition  
Robust and highly-detailed demographic data, ideal for gaining consumer and market insight as you consider opening a business, finding an audience for your products, analyzing the shifts and needs of a given population, and more.

Provides access to official statistical information produced by the Federal Government without having to know in advance which Federal agency produces which particular statistic. Data and trend information on such topics as economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, aviation safety, energy use, farm production and more.

Patchwork Nation
Demographic and economic data for every county in the U.S.

Pew Research Center
Social & demographic trends.

Population and Household Economic Topics
Data by subject.

Roper Center Public Opinion Archives
Topics at a Glance, offers a sampling of dataset holdings on a variety of issues.

State & County QuickFacts
Quick, easy access to facts about people, business, and geography.


Investing & Finance

Annual Report Research Center
Search for free, full-text annual reports by ticker symbol/company name.
Comprehensive, unbiased data on banking, mortgage, and financial rates.

Big Charts
Historic stock quotes

CNN Money
Info from editors of CNN and Money Magazine.

Information and advice for investors from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, including a BrokerCheck tool to investigate the background & qualifications of investment professionals.
Resources and tools for wise investing from the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

Measuring Worth
A service for calculating relative worth over time.

Learn stock market investing, index funds, valuation models, and more.

Morningstar Investment Research Center
Comprehensive financial information on stocks, mutual funds and market trends.

Current and historical exchange rates, market analysis and currency converter.

U.S. Savings Bonds
Official source for savings bond information.

Value Line
Provides information, ratings and earning estimates related to companies whose securities are publicly traded.





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