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Business Resources: Local/State Business Research

A guide filled with research resources for the School of Business and Leadership.

Finding/Researching Local Businesses

Local business information is very specialized; therefore, your search strategy for finding sources and information needs to have felxibility, creativity and some alternate ideas in case you don't find what you need. Here are a few suggestions.

Learn about your targeted area. In which county or metropolitan area is this business located? Don't limit your search to a particular geographic location. What happens in one location is influenced by what happens in another. Consider how your business relates to one in a larger, nearby or similar  geographic area.

You're probably not always going to find exactly what you're looking for so determine from the start what information is essential and keep your questions general. Stop and reassess your research at regular intervals to review your priorities and revise your tactics. You might decide you need to take a different approach. 

Be creative in gathering information. For example, state sites may offer more information on a business than a city-level site. ThomasNet  is a free database of manufacturers, distributors and service providers that is also a great resource for identifying companies by industry and location. 

Use the web to find sources, not just answers. Look for lists of someone elses' sources or links to favorite websites. These are those "bread crumbs" that can lead you to your answer. Remember, be cautious when using the web for information. Pay attention to your sources and the information they contain. Compare statistics from different sources and look for inconsistencies. Make sure to separate fact from opinion. And, if you're unsure, ask your professor or a reference librarian for assistance. 

Information taken from Research on Main Street: Using the Web to Find Local Business and Market Information by Marcy Phelps. 

Stark County/City of Canton Business Resources

Links to State Resources


Other Useful Web Resources