Four Ways Libraries Can Help Local Small Businesses
Make your entrepreneurial dreams come true with support from your library.
Small businesses are the backbone of local communities and are essential to a robust, small-scale economy. To ensure that your local businesses stay afloat and help encourage entrepreneurship in the future, local libraries play a significant role in providing educational resources, space, and advertising. Here are some ways that your library can help small businesses.
Advertise Local Businesses
This first point is pretty basic: Post advertisements or hold onto coupons for local businesses at the library! As a free public space, libraries are the perfect place to advertise local shops without bombarding customers. For businesses just starting out, placing posters or coupons near your library’s bulletin board is also much less expensive than filming a TV spot or ordering ad space on a billboard.
Provide Technological Resources
Libraries are a treasure trove of technological resources, from free computer and wifi access to 3D printers! With these devices open to the public, small business owners can easily fax documents, send emails, and use the library wifi to run their business away from home. Plus, for business owners who don’t already have the equipment to manage their business, libraries provide essential materials for making websites and running backend protocols.
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Provide Educational Resources
By far, the most valuable resource a library can provide is knowledge. For small businesses, libraries are an excellent resource for finding educational materials of all kinds:
Subject Matter Expertise
Librarians are research experts, meaning they’re more than equipped to help any small business owner look up statistics, understand market trends, or simply find a book they need. Many librarians are subject matter experts in a specific field too—like business librarians—and can provide advice to small business owners as well.
Libraries provide free access to learning materials of all kinds. Plenty of books are available to help small business owners get off the ground, but your library’s online collection also proves incredibly useful to burgeoning entrepreneurs. Online licensing courses, video tutorials, and database access are all essential tools every entrepreneur needs.
Alongside learning materials, many libraries also host free seminars and courses for small business owners. Business basics, employee training programs, business coaching classes, and finance courses are all important, but don’t forget the second language courses too!
Small business owners can also host seminars, meetings, and training programs at the library for free.
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The LBB Program
If you’re interested in how your library can help support local businesses, check out the Libraries Build Businesses Program hosted by the American Library Association for more information!
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