The Sarasota County Library system has an online resource called Demographics Now  which is  based largely on Census information that can help you start a business,  grow the one you have, see population patterns, consumer expenditures, and more.  Access it from the library web page at with your library card. Go to Digital Library, then Business and Careers, and choose Demographics Now. Use the short tutorial to get you started or go to the Information Desk at any Sarasota County Library and staff will be glad to show you how it works. 

There is another source in the Digital Library area called ReferenceUSA. 

It is a directory of US businesses which also has a map search feature that pinpoints locations of certain business types in certain areas. If you want to open a flower shop on US41 in Venice it shows you how many such businesses are already there.  Access this with a valid Sarasota County Library card.

Other resources here are links to business plans, and the catalog contains books on topics such as software, business plans, and starting and running a business. In the Digital Library magazine section find Flipster which is magazines online.    

Learn more here.

– Melanie Odom,  Information Services Librarian
Venice Public Library Sarasota County Libraries

Contact Biz Tip Contributor, Melanie Odom,