Library to offer entrepreneur tools 2011.09.08

Written by David Green.

The South Central Michigan-Regional Entrepreneurial Collaborative (SCM-REC) announced that a grant for $100,000 will provide two business tools to Stair Public Library and other libraries in Lenawee, Hillsdale and Jackson counties.  

BusinessDecision and ReferenceUSA are research database tools that provide entrepreneurs with “market intelligence” needed to make informed business decisions. 

“These products will take the guesswork out of most business decisions,” said Christine Quinn, president of South Central Michigan Works! (SCMW!) and the SCM-REC grant administrator. “By utilizing the databases, an entrepreneur will be able to identify market size, location information, and create a targeted list of potential customers. Using these tools will increase the likelihood of success for our local business owners.”

The grant allows for both products to be added to the library’s services for three years and will be available for use at no cost. The databases may also be used from outside of the library using a library card for authentication.  

The databases are currently accessible at the Adrian Public Library (City of Adrian) and this grant will expand the availability of the databases to the following libraries in addition to Morenci:

• Lenawee County: Hudson Public Library, Lenawee County Library, Schultz-Holmes Memorial Library (Blissfield), Tecumseh District Library;

• Hillsdale County: Hillsdale Community Library;

• Jackson County: Jackson District Library.

The database tools are expected to be installed and ready for use in October. Training sessions for librarians, economic development officials, financial institutions and civic leaders are planned for mid-October. Anyone interested in  participating in the training sessions or in future sessions for entrepreneurs and local businesses should contact the library.

The SCM-REC receives funds through the Workforce Development Agency-State of Michigan (WDASOM), formerly known as the Department of Energy Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG).

The goals of the collaborative are to: identify and support entrepreneurism within the counties of Hillsdale, Jackson and Lenawee; collaborate and promote existing entrepreneurial programs within the South Central Michigan area; and to provide a “No Wrong Door” access point for service providers and entrepreneurs. The website www.espotmi.org is a portal that can be used to access business information within the tri-county area.

• For additional information, visit www.espotmi.org or contact Catherine Abad, SCM-REC Coordinator, at 517/263-4700. 

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