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Business and Entrepreneurship Resources at the Library

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Books and eBooks

Library resources will require your account login and pin for access.

Visit our online catalog to search for books and eBooks available to you for free with your library card. Or click on any of the links below to find books and eBooks by topic.

Business License and Permits

How to obtain a Cobb County Business License: Determine if your business is in unincorporated Cobb County.

  1. Complete the Application Packet for your business type
    1. All documents must be signed by the same person.
  2. Obtain the fee amount
    1. To obtain the fee amount for a new business establishment, please e-mail your completed application to businesslicense@cobbcounty.org

Download an Application Packet

In addition to this application packet, applicants must provide:

Business Application Links:

Application may be mailed, after the fees have been assessed, to:

P.O. Box 649
Marietta, GA 30061-0649

Or presented in person at:

1150 Powder Springs St, Suite 400 
Marietta, GA 30064 
 

No mail is accepted at this address.

 To obtain fee amount for new business establishments, please e-mail your completed application to businesslicense@cobbcounty.org

You will need to have the Adobe “Acrobat” reader installed on your computer to view these files.

Cobb County Bidding Opportunities (RFPs)

Courses and Webinars

Library resources will require your account login and pin for access.

Entrepreneurial Mindset Training is a self-paced program available to all Georgia public library patrons thanks to Georgia Public Library Service. Participants are prompted to engage in exercises that connect their life experience to that of successful entrepreneurs, develop a personal vision, interview a local entrepreneur, identify a problem they would like to solve and complete an opportunity canvas that helps them refine and validate their solution.

Gale Courses offers you access to hundreds of instructor-led online courses covering everything from health and wellness to creative writing, computer programming, GED test preparation, and much more. Gale Courses courses are developed by expert instructors, many currently working at universities around the country, and have continuous enrollment dates. Each individual course is offered online for six weeks and features 12 lessons with online discussions, homework, quizzes, and a final exam.

Data Axle: Reference Solutions (formerly ReferenceUSA) is the premier source of business reference and research. Use Custom Search to find employers by geographic area or type of business; includes company contact name and address.

LearningExpress Library is an interactive online learning platform featuring over 770 practice tests, tutorials, and eBooks related to job search and workplace skills improvement, career certification and licensing exam preparation, college entrance and graduate school admissions exam preparation, GED exam preparation, and basic skills improvement in reading, writing, and math, for all ages. You’ll get immediate scoring, complete answer explanations, and an individualized analysis of your results.

LinkedIn Learning is an online learning site that hosts a constantly growing library of over 3,000 courses that include over 130,000 videos. Courses cover a variety of topics (including business, design, web development, and multimedia skills) and software (Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, and open source applications) that can help you pursue personal and professional goals.

  • Business
  • Creative
  • Technology

Mango Languages is an online language learning resource, and the only single solution that combines quality content, intelligent technology, and an adaptive algorithm that delivers practical phrases from real situations. This is language learning centered around you.

Niche Academy

UGA Small Business Development Center (external resource)

Databases and Online Resources

Library resources will require your account login and pin for access.

Business and Entrepreneurship Reference

Gale Virtual Reference Library is a database of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research, including:

Demographics, Survey, and Directory Information

Data Axle: Reference Solutions (formerly ReferenceUSA) is the premier source of business reference and research. Use Custom Search to find employers by geographic area or type of business; includes company contact name and address.

  • US Businesses
  • US New Businesses
  • US Standard White Pages
  • US Historical Businesses
  • US Jobs/Internships
  • US Healthcare
  • US Consumers/Lifestyles
  • US New Movers/Homeowners

Demographics Now offers a variety of simple, ready-to-use demographic data reports. Users may customize them by geography, choosing the area that best suits their needs. In addition, users may also run an unlimited number of reports in summary, comparison, or ranking formats.

Gale Directory Library provides access to several publications, including:

Polling the Nations is a comprehensive online database of public opinion polls containing the full text of more than 700,000 questions and responses from more than 18,000 surveys and 1,700 polling organizations, conducted from 1986 through the present in the United States and more than 100 other countries around the world.

With SimplyAnalytics, you can create professional quality thematic maps using 100,000+ data variables from industry-leading data partners. View data by state, congressional district, city, county, ZIP Code, census tract, or block group.  Intuitive reporting tools generate detailed custom reports for any location in the country. Add individual data variables or entire groups of variables and generate a report in seconds, or create a ring study report illustrating the characteristics of the 1-, 3-, and 5-mile radius surrounding your target location.  Search from over 22 million business points from Dun & Bradstreet and add them to a map or a detailed business report to find the best place to locate your business, manage the competition, or identify services. Select specific businesses using any combination of NAICS or SIC codes, legal name, company name, number of employees, total revenue, year started, and more.

Statistical Abstract of the United States is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions of the United States.

Investments, Company, and Industry Information

Hospitality and Tourism Complete

Morningstar Investment Research Center offers analysis on 1,700 stocks, 2,000 mutual funds, and 300 exchange traded funds (ETFs). While it is primarily designed as a tool for investors, it is also an excellent place to get quick information on a company. The Company Stock Reports include analysis written by Morningstar’s experts, up to 10 years of financials, bond information, ratios, SEC filings, and information on insider actions and institutional holders. Reports are available for the top 2,000 companies but other information is available for many more.

Value Line is an Investment Research tool that covers 3,500 Stocks across 100 Industries and features:

  • 1,700 widely-followed analyst covered companies
  • 1,800 small and mid-cap companies
  • Analytical Summary & Index
  • Full industry reports
  • Guided Selection & Opinion
  • Market-Driven Supplements
  • Unbiased Rating and Reports

Weiss Financial Ratings Series Online gives you powerful new tools to protect your finances, invest wisely, grow your wealth, and learn more about your finances. This resource includes:

  • Financial Strength Ratings: Banks, credit unions, and insurance companies
  • Investment Ratings: Stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds
  • Customized Medicare Supplement Insurance Buyer’s Guide
  • Online Access: Consumer guides, financial literacy basics and planning for the future

Periodicals and Current Newspapers

Business Source Complete allows users to search and browse for articles in over 4,000 business journals, the Business Searching Interface allows for easy browsing of supplementary content such as company profiles, country reports, industry profiles, market research reports, SWOT analyses, and author profiles.

NewsBank America's News allows you to search current and archived local, state, regional, and national full-text articles on issues, events, business, health, education, people, government, sports, and more with nearly 1,000 newspapers, newswires, news videos, and web-only content including the Atlanta Journal Constitution (1985 - current), Augusta Chronicle (1994 - current), Marietta Daily Journal (10/29/98 - current), and USA Today (7/1/87 - current).

NYTimes.com offers breaking news coverage, video and multimedia access, email news alerts sent right to your email account.  NYTimes.com also offers a translated Spanish and Chinese edition of the paper.

ProQuest Digitized Newspapers provides instant online access to full-image newspapers in microfilm accessible through a web browser. The digital microfilm format has a short delay before new issues are included in the archive (approximately 3 months).

ProQuest Newspapers provides full-text access to major national newspapers including:

  • Christian Science Monitor (1988 - current)
  • Los Angeles Times (1985 - current)
  • New York Times; Late Edition, East Coast (1980 - current)
  • Wall Street Journal; Eastern Edition (1984 - current)

Wall Street Journal Online Access the Wall Street Journal from anywhere for free!

Entrepreneurs Need to Know

Provided by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce

CobbWorks Offers On-the-Job Training Funds
Cobb County Government has issued $1 million in CARES Act funding to CobbWorks Inc. to provide a robust Economic Recovery and Humanitarian Assistance Project to more than 230 Cobb residents and employers. Through this project, employers can receive on-the-job training funds, which allows employers to teach new employees the skills necessary to perform a job adequately while reimbursing them for the loss of productivity during the training period. Learn more here.

COVID-19 Relief Loan Programs with Peach Tree Capital
Peach Tree Commercial Capital is offering flexible features and loan structures for businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Underwriting guidelines have been adjusted to allow for the first 3 months of payments to be escrowed, which allows temporary relief with no payments due until month 4. For more information, contact Jesus Martinez at 678-784-4144 or jesus@peachtreecap.com.

Free HealthMarkets Resource from UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group has recently launched its new GetCovered campaign and HealthMarkets resource which provides free services to connect individuals to insurance while providing educational information and tools to help assess options based on eligibility and affordability. Click here to learn more about the HealthMarkets resource and services.

GADOT SSFP Business Help Center

The GDOT SSFP Business Help Center is open to eligible GDOT certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), GDOT Registered Small Businesses, and veteran-owned small businesses. Eligible firms may use the resource center to access:

  • One-on-one assistance related to pursuing SSFP projects to include routine maintenance application review and SSFP project identification and forecasts;
  • Routine Maintenance Application Review;
  • Meeting Space (appointment required);
  • SSFP Project Plan Review;
  • General computer usage to complete and print SSFP routine maintenance applications and internet access to search for SSFP projects; and
  • Training.

Guide to the Employee Retention Tax Credit
The US Chamber created a guide  and posted an article for the new employee retention tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19.

Main Street Business Lending Program
The banking community is recommending that businesses apply for the Federal Reserve's Main Street Business Lending Program. This program supports small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the public health crisis. The Treasury will invest $75 billion into a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to purchase eligible loans. This lending vehicle minimum loan is $500K max loan is $25 million.

More information on the program is available here.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce American Rescue Plan Resources
The U.S. Chamber has an informational video sharing details about the American Rescue Plan, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, grant opportunities, and expanded programs like the Employee Retention Tax Credit. View the video here.

Minority-Owned Small Business Relief Initiatives

Provided by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce

You can learn more about funding options for small business, including those targeted at minority and underserved communities, and get connected with SBA-approved lenders. SBA also offers several special coronavirus relief options.

Hispanic Small Business Relief Initiative
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hispanic small business owners in Georgia already faced significant barriers towards growth and survival. The economic & personal impacts of this crisis will be disproportionately devastating. This initiative serves to supply financial assistance & support by providing cash grants, education and technical assistance, and resources to help businesses during the crisis and toward resiliency and recovery.

You can support this initiative with a donation: http://hispanicbusinesscenter.org/donate..

If you have any questions or would like to discuss other giving solutions, please contact Norma Zúñiga-Cardoza, Certified Nonprofit Professional at nzuniga@ghcc.org.

Restore ATL Fund
In partnership with CareSource, the Metro Atlanta Chamber has launched the RESTORE ATL Fund to support black-owned small and medium-sized businesses in metro Atlanta that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The RESTORE ATL Fund was established to provide companies immediate gap assistance through the distribution of $5,000-$10,000 grants. Applications are open until July 6.

Eligibility criteria for the grant program are as follows:
• Company must be black-owned
• Company must be a for-profit business located in the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area
• Company must have been in business for a minimum of 3 years before March 1, 2020
• Company must have fewer than 100 employees (full-time, part-time and contractors)

For more information on the RESTORE ATL Fund, please visit metroatlantachamber.com/restore-atl-grant

Visa and IFUNDWOMEN Grant Program for Black Women-Owned Businesses
Through this program, Visa is committed to providing Black women entrepreneurs with access to the capital, coaching and connections they need to grow their businesses during this challenging time. Ten (10) qualified recipients will each be awarded a $10K grant + a 1-year IFundWomen Annual Coaching Membership. Applications are being accepted through July 31, 2020. Click here to learn more.

Small Business Financial Assistance

Provided by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce

Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program. For more details, click here. 

SBA $10K Emergency Economic Injury Grant is available for small businesses (under 500 employees) whom had a loss of revenue due to COVID-19, can follow this link to apply for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Updated for the federal stimulus package, the CARES Act. Near the end of the form, businesses can check a box to receive a $10,000 advance (followed by fields to fill in the name of his/her bank, the routing number and the account number).
The $10K advance is the Emergency Economic Injury Grant. The grant does not have to be repaid, and is immediate cash for a small business. It's available by legal entity too, so if a business owner owns five different businesses—as long as they are set up as different entities (LLCs, S-Corps, Sole proprietorships, etc.)—the owner can apply for this for each small business entity.

SBA Disaster Assistance is now available to the entire state of Georgia. The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Georgia small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These loans can provide vital economic support to help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can't be paid because of the disaster's impact. Please note the following: Applicants may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

The SVOG program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, which appropriated $15 billion for it. The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, appropriated an additional $1.25 billion, bringing the program funding to a total of $16.25 billion, with more than $16 billion allocated for grants. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program is now available.

Create Your Business Plan

Download your free business plan workbook to begin your small business journey. This customized workbook will assist you in gaining in-depth knowledge about your business. This business plan template is a generic model suitable for all types of businesses. However, you should modify it to suit your particular circumstances.

The process of writing your business plan will clarify what is involved in making your business work successfully. The real value of creating a business plan is not in having the finished product in hand; rather, the value lies in the process of researching and thinking about your business in a systematic way.

Find more business plan handbooks on Gale eBooks.

Business Resources Provided by Community Partners

     

 

Getting Started with UGA Small Business Development Center

Business Guides Provided by UGA Small Business Development Center

Download your free copy of How to Start a Business: A Guide for Georgia Entrepreneurs provided by the Small Business Development Center at the University of Georgia.

Download your free copy of Guide to Conquering a Business Crisis provided by the Small Business Development Center at the University of Georgia.

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Ask-a-Librarian

Our Ask-a-Librarian email reference service can help you find answers! Submit your question, and our staff will send you an email response within 2 business days.

Cobb County Public Library cardholders have free, online access to hundreds of online resources and databases. Library cards are free for residents and property owners or available for a small fee for out of county residents. Visit our Library Cards and Accounts page to learn more.