NC LIVE for Small Business in North Carolina
For two weeks in February, staff of NC LIVE, North Carolina libraries, and vendor partners participated in six regional meetings of the North Carolina Small Business Center Network (NC SBCN).
(Pictured Right: Clark Nall, East Carolina University's Librarian for Business Reference, demonstrates SimplyMap to Small Business Center staff at Pitt Community College.)
Presenters at each three-hour workshop aimed to help train Small Business Center staff on the wealth of business research materials available to them online through their local libraries.
The objective of the Small Business Center Network (SBCN) is to increase the success rate and the number of viable small businesses in North Carolina by providing high quality, readily accessible assistance to prospective and existing small business owners which will lead to job creation and retention. Each Small Business Center (SBC) is a community-based provider of education and training, counseling, referral and information.
During each of the six regional meetings in February, SBC staff learned to use online business and market research tools available through NC LIVE and North Carolina libraries, including:
- SimplyMap - Web-based mapping application that lets you create professional-quality maps and reports using demographic, business, and marketing data.
- Hoover's Online - Business research platform allows users to search U.S. and international company listings by industry, size, & geography to create marketing plans, conduct competitive analysis, and raise funds.
- Small Business Reference Center - Offers a wide variety of information on small business and entrepreneurial subject areas, common business types, a help and advice section, and provides information on how to create business plans that lead to successful funding. Includes business lectures and ‘how to’ videos, as well as state-specific resources.
- NC LIVE's Business Information Center - A collection of NC LIVE's most popular business research tools, including market research information, popular newspapers and business magazines, and business planning tools.
Each of the the resources listed above are available free to library patrons through all 201 public libraries, community colleges and university libraries across the state.
Download the NC LIVE Business Workshop Materials
- Introduction to NC LIVE business resources presentation (.pptx)
- NC LIVE Business Resources handout (.pdf)
- SimplyMap practice exercises (.doc)
- SimplyMap presentation with screenshots (.pptx)
About the NC SBCN
Started in 1984 when the North Carolina State Legislature (www.ncleg.net) funded thirteen Small Business Centers (SBCs), the NC SBCN has grown, and by 1995 had at least one SBC at each of the 58 Community Colleges within North Carolina. The system has now expanded to over 60 sites throughout the State and is known as the most expansive state funded technical assistance program in the United States, having locations within a 30 minute drive of virtually every North Carolinian.
NC LIVE would like to thank its partners and co-presenters for their assistance in these workshops, including: Steven Swartz (SimplyMap vendor representative), Steven Cramer (UNC-Greensboro), Betty Garrison (Elon University), Michael Rose (Rockingham Community College), Alisha Webb (Guilford Technical Community College), Nicole Spoor (UNC-Charlotte), Lydia Towery (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library), Leslie Farison (Appalachian State University), Elizabeth Novicky (Salem College), Carmen Blanton (Brunswick Community College), Clark Nall (East Carolina University), Angela Davis (Pitt Community College), Saundra Cropps and Kathe Rauch (Wake County Public Libraries).