Business Reference Resources

This page is intended to serve as a general business research resource, and includes standard tools and data sets from government sources to help businesses. A chamber could use these resources for their own research, or they could use it as a foundation in working with their own business members. This page was built based on other academic and public library business reference guides that we examined and pulled the top resources from. Questions or suggestions can be sent to

Census and Market Data / Community Profile provided by the U.S. Government

  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) - promotes a better understanding of the U.S. economy by providing the most timely, relevant, and accurate economic accounts data in an objective and cost-effective manner.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor - mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making. As an independent statistical agency, BLS serves its diverse user communities by providing products and services that are objective, timely, accurate, and relevant.
  • - The home of the U.S. Government's open data. You will find data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop the web, and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and more.
  • From the US Census Bureau
    • American FactFinder - helps find popular facts (population, income, etc.) and frequently requested data about your community.
    • The Census Business Builder (CBB) - is a suite of services that provide selected demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau tailored to specific types of users in a simple to access and use format
      • Regional Analyst Edition - is built for chambers of commerce and regional planning staff who need a broad portrait of the people and businesses in their service area. It presents data for all sectors of the economy and for a user-defined region made up of one or more areas.
      • Small Business Edition - is built primarily for small business owners who need key data for their business plan or to better understand their potential market. It presents data for a single type of business and geography at a time.

Data, Reports, and Statistics (some of the information is free or there is a pay scale/membership fee)

Stats are something every business should be aware of. Being informed of quantitative data means for better qualitative decision-making. There are standard business stats to be aware of, plus specialized data sets and stats, such as from the following resources:
  • EconData.Net - has 1,000 links to socioeconomic data sources, arranged by subject and provider, pointers to the Web’s premiere data collections, and our own list of the ten best sites for finding regional economic data.
  • EconoFact - A non-partisan publication designed to bring key facts and incisive analysis to the national debate on economic and social policies presented in short memo form and written in everyday language, free of jargon, proving data, analysis and historical perspectives.
  • Gallup - delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems.
  • GuideStar - Complete, up-to-date nonprofit data available from IRS Form 990 info.
  • Growth Economy - is a dynamic research database that matches data from 2 independent sources to track a key driver of the US economy: how private equity-backed companies compare to other U.S. businesses on jobs and sales growth.
  • Justice Research & Statistics Association (JRSA) - Evidence-Based Practice Online Resources List
  • The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship - series offers in-depth measures of the people and businesses that contribute to America’s overall economic dynamism with reports and accompanying interactive data visualizations presenting entrepreneurial trends nationally, at the state level, and for the 40 largest metropolitan areas.
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts - is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and invigorate civic life.
  • SizeUp - helps small business owners manage and grow their business by benchmarking against competitors, and by mapping customers, competitors and suppliers, along with locating the best places to advertise. Available through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • Statista - provides users with an innovative and intuitive tool for researching quantitative data, statistics, and related information.
  • Trove The Discretionary Income Report - Compare by city how much jobs actually earn, after taxes and living expenses.
  • Venable, LLP Resources - provides a list of trusted legal resources and grant information for nonprofits.
  • Zogby Analytics - provides custom research and insight to leaders of businesses and communities, as well as to individuals.

Financing Resources

Patents and Trademarks

International & Federal Markets Resources

Securities and Exchange Commission

Tax Resources

Check out some of ACCE's Chamberpedia pages for more resources and information

Also check out your public library!

Remember to visit your local library and your library's online resources. At some public libraries, there are business librarians and centers that are free to use.

For instance, some of the databases often available through public and academic libraries include:
  • Academic Search Premier
  • BMI Research
  • Business Plans Handbooks
  • DemographicsNOW (useful for member prospecting)
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Hoover's Company Profiles
  • First Research Industry Profiles
  • IBISWorld Industry Market Research
  • Industry Overviews
  • Morningstar
  • ProQuest Newspapers
  • ReferenceUSA (useful for member prospecting)
  • State, county, and city Public Records

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Last Updated: 9/8/2018

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