Speaking Volumes: National Small Business Week is near. Your library can help with resources

South Manatee Library celebrates 50 years

Manatee County's South Manatee Library celebrates 50 years of service.
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Manatee County's South Manatee Library celebrates 50 years of service.

The beginning of May is well known for its showers, but did you know it is also the best time to celebrate and shop all things local?

Running May 5-11, National Small Business Week encourages visiting small businesses and entrepreneurs to help our Manatee County businesses and community succeed.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

Since 1963, National Small Business Week recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Manatee County has a wealth of local businesses; contact the Manatee Chamber of Commerce to learn the who’s who of the small business world.

Have a great idea for a business but don’t know where to start? Your Manatee County libraries can help with many free resources that are only a click away with your library card.

“Mergent Intellect,” powered Hoover’s, a Dun & Bradstreet Solution, is the premiere online database for industry profiles, market research and consumer demographic information. Create mailing lists of potential clients or vendors, and once you are up and running, input your financial information into “Key Business Ratios” to see how your measure up in your market.

Complicated statistics and spreadsheets? Typing memos and leading meetings? No need to fear when you have access to

Part of LinkedIn, provides an online library of unlimited on-demand instructional videos covering a wide range of software, productivity, design and business skills. You can practice along with exercise files on different software (not provided with library card access); offers completion certificates — perfect to add to a resume or business profile.

Manatee libraries also have thousands of print and digital books that can help with creating and running a business.

“The Small Business Start-Up Kit” (2018) by Peri Pakroo will help a first-time business owner get started from the ground up, including writing a business plan, necessary permits and licenses, and tax information.

Available as an e-book on “Hoopla,” “Closing a Sale” (2018) will give quick, tried-and-true tips to create a winning sales pitch.

Don’t miss the 2019 Business Preparedness Expo and Workshop, presented by Manatee County’s Redevelopment & Economic Opportunity Department, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Bradenton Area Convention Center.

This free event will have more than 30 exhibitors that can help prepare your business in case of a natural disaster. Hurricanes and flooding are a part of life in coastal Florida, so having a plan of action to secure your business will help you continue to thrive.

Take a walk along the Riverwalk and stop in at the Central Library’s business incubator, a collaborative workspace to meet with your SCORE mentors and colleagues and pick up our Small Business Resource Guide for even more information on library, local and national resources to help your business succeed.

Call your local branch for more information on available titles.

Central Library — 941-748-5555;

Braden River — 941-727-6079;

Island — 941-778-6341;

Palmetto — 941-722-3333;

Rocky Bluff — 941-723-4821;

South Manatee — 941-755-3892.

You also can access the library via the internet at

Aileen Valdes is the assistant supervisor of information services at the Central Library in downtown Bradenton. Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday in the Bradenton Herald.

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