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Milwaukee Public Library Hours & Locations


Business Research

Let us help guide you to the best business information available.

Reliable and relevant business information can be tricky to find. Milwaukee Public Library’s Business & Technology department has identified valuable resources that will help with your business planning and research.  You can contact us directly at (414) 286-3051.

Are you a business owner interested in getting access to the library’s databases and materials? Learn how to register for a Business Library Card to enable your business to have access to these unique resources.                


Business Resources by Category


MPL Workshops

Book a Business Librarian: Work one-on-one with Milwaukee Public Library Business Librarians as they guide you through the library’s business resources. Librarians can help you get started on your business plan, identify your customers and competitors, give tips on creating marketing materials, and more!   REGISTRATION REQUIRED – Sign up for a 45-minute session by calling the Business & Technology desk at 414-286-3051.

Patent Searching 101: Protect your product! Central Library business librarians will explain the seven-step strategy for conducting a patent search. Save time and money by learning to navigate the patent databases yourself!   No registration required for class.

Small Business Resources 101: Learn how to find the right information to help you start your own business. Central Library business staff offer a free bi-annual program on useful print and electronic resources for small business planning.   No registration required for class.


American FactFinder: American FactFinder provides access to data about the United States, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas. The data in American FactFinder come from several censuses and surveys.  Free website.

DemographicsNOW: From Gale, this customizable blend of census, statistics, marketing insights and people/business directories is perfect for creating visual analyses for business plans, entrepreneurial activities and quick demographic reports. Available to City of Milwaukee library card holders.

Milwaukee Neighborhood Strategic Planning Statistics: View detailed information for each of the 18 Neighborhood Strategic Planning (NSP) in the city. See neighborhood statistics related to current property demographics, housing and community development, neighborhood quality of life, environment, education, neighborhood vitality, and public safety information. Compare your neighborhood's profile to other strategic planning areas and to the city as a whole. Free website.

State of Wisconsin Demographic Services Center:  Demographic Services Center (DSC) develops annual estimates and future projections of the population for all Wisconsin towns, villages, and cities.  Free Website.


Industry, Company, and Product Research

Gale Business Insights: Global: Research and analyze companies, industries, and economies around the world. Search for an industry by keyword, NAICS or SIC code to view industry reports that include: Industry Snapshop, Background and Development, Current Conditions, Technology and Advancement and more. Available to City of Milwaukee library card holders.

Business Source Premier: From EBSCO, this package for business research includes articles, company and industry profiles, and country and market research. Provided as part of Wisconsin's BadgerLink program.

ReferenceUSA: ReferenceUSA is a tremendous collection of data records that can be used as a people or business address/telephone directory, job hunting tool, company or industry analysis source, mailing list creator, or to custom design marketing datasets within the Consumer/Lifestyle module. Available to City of Milwaukee library card holders.

ThomasNet: Directory of manufacturers and distributors. Includes links to product catalogs and CAD drawings. Free Website.

Wisconsin Corporation Search: search for businesses in Wisconsin and find registered agent information, current business status, filing history and more. The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions also provides annual reports and charter documents for a fee. Free website.

Wisconsin Business Annual Reports: An index to MPL's collection of historic annual reports, which focused on Wisconsin-based companies.


International Resources

Doing Business: The Doing Business Project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 189 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level. The website offers detailed subnational reports, which exhaustively cover business regulation and reform in different cities and regions within a nation. These reports provide data on the ease of doing business, rank each location, and recommend reforms to improve performance in each of the indicator areas. Free Website.


Morningstar Investment Research Center: Use Morningstar analysis to study financial investments, stocks, mutual funds and company performance.  Available to City of Milwaukee library card holders.

Value Line: For complete stock and investment research, turn to Value Line. Online access to the Investment Survey is available. The Investment Survey, Small & Midcap Survey, and Special Situations Service, are all available in print at the Business & Technology Room at the Central Library. Available to City of Milwaukee library card holders.

See the library’s Personal Finance: Get Smart About Money page for additional Investment related resources.

Small Business

BizStarts Milwaukee: Connects resources, content and contacts that will assist entrepreneurs to launch new enterprises. Bizstarts Milwaukee was formed by a group of forward-looking business leaders in the Milwaukee region who saw a need to accelerate early stage business and ideas. Free Website. Hundreds of free sample business plans from the Small Business Administration and Palo Alto software. Business plans contain realistic sample content for various business types. Free Website.

DemographicsNOW: Perfect for creating visual analyses for business plans. DemographicsNOW has easy to use Report Wizards that can create custom reports on comparing local markets, identifying market demand and analyzing potential business sites, in minutes. It is also able to run quick demographic reports and includes a people/business directory. Available to City of Milwaukee library card holders.

Forward Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Business Toolkit: Toolkit listing government agencies, financial resources, and general start-up information. Forward Wisconsin provides resources for businesses looking to either open a new location, to expand an existing business in Wisconsin or to start a new business. Free Website.

Kiva Zip: Kiva Zip is an online platform that enables financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs to access 0% interest small business loans up to $5,000. Evaluation is based on entrepreneurs' character and their credit worthiness established through their network. These loans are crowdfunded by hundreds of lenders from around the world who read your story, lend you as little as $5 each, and rally around your business as potential customers, business advisers, and brand ambassadors. Free Website.

Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE): Nationally, SCORE is America’s largest volunteer business counseling service.  Founded in 1964, it is a nonprofit association dedicated to help those in small business, about to start one, or just thinking about it. SCORE also provides free mentoring opportunities. Free Website.

Veteran's Guide to Starting a Small BusinessVeteran's Guide to Starting a Small Business: An in-depth resource guide for veterans who are interested in starting, running, and financing a veteran-owned business. 

Wisconsin One Stop Business Portal: One Stop Business Portal will walk you through the steps necessary to register your small business with multiple state agencies in Wisconsin. Free Website.

Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC): The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center helps entrepreneurs start and grow businesses through high quality educational services. Services include references and referrals, training and professional development, and business development. Free Website.

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative (WWBIC): WWBIC’s regional office in Milwaukee serves emerging and existing small business owners (men and women) by providing quality business education, one-on-one business assistance, direct loans and access to other capital, financial awareness and asset-building programming. Free Website. Some classes may have fees.

Research Business at MPL

January 25, 2018
12:00 PM
Patent Searching 101 at Central

Protect Your Product! Central Library business librarians will explain the seven…

April 26, 2018
12:00 PM
Patent Searching 101 at Central

Protect Your Product! Central Library business librarians will explain the seven…

July 26, 2018
12:00 PM
Patent Searching 101 at Central

Protect Your Product! Central Library business librarians will explain the seven…

October 25, 2018
12:00 PM
Patent Searching 101 at Central

Protect Your Product! Central Library business librarians will explain the seven…

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