Notes From the Business / Finance Corner

Business Related Databases Available

Whether you are looking for new business ideas, research results, company finance information, or other business topics, chances are you will find something useful by searching the library business data bases. Of particular interest are: Ebsco's Academic Source Premier which has thousands of full text periodicals and AtoZdatabase the premier reference and marketing database marketed to Library, Academic, and Government institutions throughout the U.S. This simple, user-friendly, web-based solution provides details on every business and every household within the U.S. On the data base page are also a number of other sites such as  Business and Company Resource Center and Consumer Reports. 

To get into the data bases you will need your Colonie library card number. If you have trouble getting on to the data bases from home or office, let us know and we will work to correct the problem.


Business & Finance Internet Links

Directories and Searches | Exporting | Finance |Small Business| Marketing & StatisticsPeriodicals | |Taxes


Directories and Searches

Albany County Online http://www.albanycounty.com/
Albany County has scanned their deeds and mortgages back to 1980 and put them online. You can view actual copies on their website. They also have county naturalization information for genealogists that tell the book and page to ask for at the clerks office.

Canada411 http://www.canada411.ca/ This site provides a phone number look up service by person, business, or yellow page entry. To use the site put your mouse pointer over the "411 Plus" in the blue bar at the top. You can limit searches by city and province or search all of Canada. In addition there are links for toll free numbers and postal codes.

Canadian Trade Index
http://www.ctidirectory.com/
This site provides a search for Canadian Businesses registered with the site and includes valuable links to other Canadian trade related sites.

Frasers Canadian Trade Directory
http://www.frasers.com/
This site replaces the book form of the directory, which seems to have been discontinued. There is no charge to use FRASERS.com. You will need to register, only once, to be able to use FRASERS.com as often as you like. It has company, product and contact information on more than 30,500 companies listed under 22,500 product categories.

Info Space, The Ultimate Directory
http://www.infospace.com/
The site could go in several categories. It is included here because of itís reverse look-up functions and the number of finding functions. Search businesses yellow pages by category, name, near address, phone number, or on a map. Search individuals by phone numbers, name, address, e-mail, web site, and more. There are also classifieds, city guides, real-time quotes, company snapshots, price charts. There are also look-up for toll free numbers, tax numbers, and toll-free cellular, etc.

Google Patents http://www.google.com/patents
Google has done it again by producing a very simply patent search process. Search by patent number or key word.

Macraes Blue Book http://www.macraesbluebook.com
The library has several Macrae products in print format but this site can be used to search by product key word.

ReferenceUSA http://reference.infousa.com/ The most comprehensive directory of businesses available. It lists not just home offices but every site. Besides the basic address and phone numbers, it includes contact names, estimated sales and number of employees, a credit rating, and pointers to parent companies and subsidiaries. You can search by company size, by products, or by geography. In addition there is an option to search for consumer phone numbers. In order to search this database from home you will need a library card. Enter your complete bar code. Colonie residents need to include leading zeros. This service is made possible by funds from Albany Public Library as part of the Central Library program.

Switchboard http://www.switchboard.com
Most Internet phone and address sites cannot do a national name search but require a state. This site is an exception. In addition it is able to create maps and directions fairly quickly. This site also allows reverse look-ups by phone number.

Thomas Register of American Manufacturers Home Page http://www.thomasnet.com/- Online version of the multi-volume register of American manufacturers. One of the best sources of manufacturer information with many company catalogs. Put in the product and it gives you manufacturers of the product.

Yahoo! Business and Economy
http://dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/
This premiere catalog of the Internet continues to be improved. There are 40 general categories and each category shows the number of sites included. For example marketing lists 407. The tax link leads to many relevant sites including state and federal tax forms. For general searches this is a good place to start.


Exporting

Export.gov http://www.export.gov/index.asp
Export.gov brings together resources from across the U.S. Government to assist American businesses in planning their international sales strategies and succeed in today’s global marketplace.

The International Trade Administration http://trade.gov/index.asp
U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration. "... dedicated to helping U.S. businesses compete in the global marketplace..."

US International Trade Commission http://www.usitc.gov/
An information referral service for economists, attorneys, business analysts, policy makers, journalists, and others seeking information related to international trade and investment. TR attempts to collect and classify trade-related information available via the Internet.

US Council For International Business
http://www.uscib.org
United States Council for International Business. Giving business a seat at the table in Promoting an open system of world trade, finance, and investment.

US Census Foreign Trade Classification Schedules
Government information on Export Commodity Codes, Country & Territory Designations, Customs Districts & Ports, including foreign Ports.
http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/reference/codes/index.html

  • Explanation
  • Schedule B: Export Commodity Codes.
  • Schedule C: Country and Territory Designations. (Sorted by:ISO, ∑ Country Name ).
  • Schedule D: U.S. Customs Districts and Ports. ( Sorted by: Port Name ).
  • Schedule K: Foreign Ports. ( Sorted by: Foreign Port Name, Country Name ).
  • Harmonized System Exporting Codes and Classifications
    Shipper's Export Declaration

Finance & Investment

Personal Finance Materials at the Library

While web sites are a popular way for people to access financial information, there are still some important hard-copy sources available at the library. Besides the sources listed here there a number of other sources that may be of interest. These however are the most popular:

Value Line: Stocks: The Standard in Libraries for Stocks. In three parts, there is a small book with a weekly market overview and special articles on highlighted stocks. Plus, there are two large binders, one for big stocks and one for small and mid-cap stocks. In the front of the big books is an Index to the volume. The volume is then divided in sections based on industries. In each section there is a short analysis of the industry and then analyses of the companies, one page for each. Counting both volumes Value Lines covers about 3,400 stocks using a proprietary system of recommendation based on trends in industry, the financial performance of the company, and its relative stock price. It also includes recommended lists of stocks.

Morningstar: Mutual Funds: Morningstar's Flagship publication is Morningstar Mutual Funds. It does for mutual funds what Value Line does for stocks; it describes and evaluates almost 1,700 funds. Morningstar uses a simple rating system and gives each fund a rating from one to five stars. For each fund it also describes the types of stocks held and provides past performance data. Like Value Line, it gives some market commentary, provides news on funds, and provides a single page of fairly dense performance data. It also includes major holdings by sector and investment style plus a short rationale for their rating. Morningstar divides their book by sections based on types of funds and provides an overview of each type. It also provides a number of performance lists.


Mergent Bond Record: Published monthly, Mergent's Bond Record offers a review of over 68,000 issues. This unique resource provides coverage on corporate, government, municipal, industrial development/environmental control revenue and international bonds, plus structured finance and equipment trust issues, medium-term notes, convertible issues, preferred stocks and commercial paper issues.

Finance & Investment Internet Sites

Amortization Tables www.myamortizationchart.com/ Using the form you can create an easy to use and readily printable amotization table -- and see a graph of the relative values of payments and interest.

Bank Rates Nationwide http://www.bankrate.com
Provides current rates on mortgages, car loans, etc. for major cities (including Albany) nationwide. It also includes a number of useful calculators, such as to find CD values, calculate retirement needs, and loan payments.

Bureau of the Public Debt http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/bpd/bpdhome.htm
This site provides information and redemption values on bonds and other government securities. There is also information to help people understand these kinds of investments. Finally, you can also purchase US securities directly through the site.

CNN Money http://money.cnn.com/index.html
A complete finaicial site. Provides news and information on mutual funds, money market funds and stocks. Once you've looked up a stock using either ticker symbols or keywords you have twelve options including charts, quotes, news, snapshots, analysis, competitors, financials, full reports, management discussion, SEC filings, a profile and the ability to discuss stocks. News story coverage is provided, including older stories. With CNN's large staff it is able to provide original information and not just "borrow" from other sites.

Edgar Securities and Exchange Commission http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml
As their web site says, "All companies, foreign and domestic, are required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR. Anyone can access and download this information for free". Search EDGAR for 10-K's and other reports filed with the SEC. 10-K's include audited assessments of companies in addition to company created data and is an important source of information for investors.

Federal Reserve Board http://www.federalreserve.gov/
The site has many areas of interest. For example the Beige Book report includes economic conditions for each area of the country and a summary section.

How Stuff Works: http://money.howstuffworks.com/money-economics-basics-channel.htm
A money & economic basic library. Money and Economics Basics articles provide information about economic fundamentals. Learn about the economy on their Money and Economics Basics Channel.

Loan Amortization Schedule: www.loanamortizationschedule.org/
A single page site that loooks like a simple tool for printing out loan amortization schedules. We'll see if it turns into something else or is expanded.

MarketWatch http://www.marketwatch.com/
What used to be a CBS product is now under the Dow Jones Banner. One of the strengths of this site is the news. Obviously the company has access to the news and is a powerhouse in the financial information arena. Features include a broad range of personal finance, including such things as home mortgages, insurance and on-line banking. It has recently added an IPO watch section.

Medicare.com http://www.medicare.gov/
Use this site to find out the rules, the payments, and choices. You can also shop for heath plans, locate supplemental Medi-gap coverage, compare nursing homes, and view many related publications.

MSN Real Estate http://realestate.msn.com/
Very good information on home sales. Includes price paid, year bought, assessed value, number of bedrooms, and baths, plus square footage.

Nolo http://www.nolo.com/index.cfm
Nolo is a premiere publisher of legal and financial guides and the library has many, if not most of their books. The books cover topics such as wills and estate planning in addition to social security, health planning and business topics. In addition to listing books on all these topics the web site also provides questions and answers and short articles on all the topics.

New York State Tax and Finance http://www.tax.state.ny.us
Here is the site for the New York State tax forms. In addition there is information on electronic filing, publications, tax penalties and interest calculator, direct deposit, and a practitioner's guidebook.

Senior Citizen Exemption on Property Tax: NYS Office of Real Property Services Besides information on the Star program there is also information regarding assessment and many other real property issues. For local information click here: http://www.colonie.org/assessor/#star

SmartMoney http://www.smartmoney.com
A very feature rich site. Besides news and stories they have interactive charting, portfolio maintenance, and a variety of other topic areas. And, take a look at their map of the market, a graphic image of how sectors are doing. SmartMoney is produced by Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal folks.

Social Security Online http://www.ssa.gov/SSA_Home.html
You can get a copy of your social security statement showing your estimated future benefits on-line. You can also peruse the social security bulletin, a good source of information about social security and its rules and regulations. The site also has other good feature such as Medicare and Supplemental Income information.

Thrall: http://www.thrall.org/special/economy.html
A website with basic information about how different aspects of the economy functions. It also has some good links to economic indicators and a host of other aspects of the economy.

U.S. Internal Revenue Service: Forms and Publications http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html
The site provides the U.S. forms and the publications back to 1992. Also includes regulations issued since 1995. You can also view the US Code in its entirety.

Yahoo! Finance http://quote.yahoo.com
Many sites are currently providing basic investment tools but this is the most popular. Perhaps that is because it provides a lot of basic information without making you look on too many pages to get it. It has been criticized for some for putting too much on a page but once you get used to it is seems more efficient.

Small Business

Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce
http://www.ac-chamber.org/ Wide variety of services for business of all sizes. See the site for membership benefits, economic development in the Capital District, and links to member home pages and the on-line version Visions, the chamber monthly magazine.

Business Owner's Toolkit http://www.toolkit.com/ - This site provides a combination of informational materials and guidance. The main features of the site are pay per use materials such as credit reports, laws, company information, and patents.

Colonie Chamber of Commerce http://www.coloniechamber.org/  
The chamber's web site provides information on upcoming programs and a way to search for members.

Franchise Center http://www.franchisesolutions.com/index.cfm
While this site has an advertising feel to it, it does supply a fair number of franchise opportunities. If you compare it to the entry in "Bond's Franchise Guide" (R658.8 BON) found on the library business index table, you will find that the information in the book is much more complete. But this is available on-line all the time.

New York Loves Small Business http://www.nylovessmallbiz.com//home.asp
As the introduction by Governor Pataki states, "this is New York State's one-stop shop for small businesses looking to start or expand in our State." It also has a well organized set of help files and recommendations for growing your business. You can also view award wining pamphlet, "A Guide to Owning and Operating a Small Business in New York State" in pdf format.

New York State Contract Reporter: http://www.nyscr.org/Public/Index.aspx
The NYSCR is New York’s official publication state procurement opportunities from state agencies, public authorities and public benefit corporations. The NYSCR is now free of charge for general access. You just need to register to get a user name and password.

New York State Small Business Development Center http://www.nyssbdc.org/ The NYS/SBDC provides counseling for all the phases of business start up. Sponsored in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the State of New York -- and administered by the State University of New York, the City University of New York, and certain private universities -- the NYS/SBDC is comprised of 23 full-time offices (along with over twenty additional outreach centers).

Opal http://www.nys-permits.org  New York State's Online Permit Assistance and Licensing website. If you want to start a new business or expand your current business, this site will help you find the New York State business permits you may need.

Retail Council of New York State http://www.retailcouncilnys.com/ Retail Council represents some 5,000 member stores of all size and variety. They offer a wide range of money-saving group benefit programs to their members, as well as aggressive, respected legislative representation in the State Capitol.

Score: Counselor's to America's Small Business http://www.scorealbany.org/ Score stands for service core of retired executives. This is a local group which provides one on one counseling and educational materials (some materials available in the library reference area). Visit their online site for home access and additional information.

Small Business Administration http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov/
The web site of the SBA. Special sections on starting, financing and expanding a business and there is also a number of online publications, including financing and business plan workbooks.

Tech Valley http://www.techvalley.org/ This web site was set up after more than 300 local business leaders came together on April 25th, 2001 for a Technology Summit. The site promotes and describes the m any high tech initiatives both on-going and planned. It is sponsored by the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber and includes noteworthy news and a calendar of events. The main value of the site, however, is its description of local initiatives such as the local incubator programs and the stories.

Marketing /Statistics

About Marketing
http://marketing.about.com/?once=true& This site has over 700 links to marketing sites plus marketing articles and forums. The site also has guide to doing a marketing plan, market research, positioning, and other marketing tools.

Agency Compile http://www.agencycompile.com
If you would like to find out which ad agency is handling a certain company, or vide versa) this is your site. Or, if you are looking for an agency to handle a business by type of business, say your type of business, this is also a good place to start.

American Marketing Association http://www.marketingpower.com/
AMA's website includes information on marketing careers, publications, local chapters, events, and marketing resources. The news section is interesting in its own right.

Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/
If you are looking for government statistics, you will find a lot right here. The main page includes links to about 100 sources cataloged by subject. Inflation and consumer spending, productivity and demographics are three of the categories. You can also find less well known topics such as worker injuries, illnesses, and fatalities by occupation. A good site to browse around.

Capital District Regional Planning Commission http://www.cdrpc.org/
CDRPC provides graphs, statistics, and analysis of the local population, employment, wages, sales, and taxes. The site provides statistical guidance for regional planning and always features new publications..

Census, Bureau of the, U.S. http://www.census.gov/
With each census more data is in electronic format and less in paper. In 1992 there were 65,000 pages of economic census data and in 1997 6,500. While national and state level statistics have always been available at the library, the interesting data for localities and counties has been sketchy. The on-line version goes a long way towards changing that. In some cases data is available by zip code. Most data is at least available by county. And then there are the tid bits to add some spice for example the mean travel time to work in 1973 was 22.4 minutes. The census of population contains variables related to sex, race, and education. The census of housing gives data on another group of categories such as rooms and population per household. The economic census breaks down major industry areas by standard industrial classifications. For example in the 12205 area code in 1992 there were two fruit and vegetable markets, four hardware stores, and 48 home and home furnishing stores.

Consumer Prices Indexes Home Page
http://www.bls.gov/cpi/
Maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics here is an online source of up to date CPI numbers. statistics for regions are included by not SMAís.


Cornell’s Program on Applied Demographics  http://pad.human.cornell.edu/index.cfm   A nice collection of demographic links, maps, and tables on New York and New York Counties.

FAB New York at Home http://www.nylovesnano.com/
The Capital Regional is home to some pretty impressive high tech operations. This site gives industry location information, industry information, back ground on the technology development efforts, regional strengths, and more. As they say on the site Fa b New York at Home is designed to increase community knowledge and involvement. Monthly publications and fact sheets, as well as local news articles, can be viewed below or a hard copy can be mailed upon request.


FedStats www.fedstats.gov A general index to Federal Statistics

Economic Indicators http://www.economicindicators.gov/
Provides the full release of component economic indicators. Economic Indicators.gov is brought to you by the Economics and Statistics Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Our mission is to provide timely access to the daily releases of key economic indicators from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. If you would rather browse all indicators by date or download the entire print publication: www.gpoaccess.gov/indicators/browse.html

Gallop Organization http://www.gallup.com/
The most famous polls come from Gallop. Their site brings you news, polls of recent and current events and cataloged poll results. Also includes some social polls such as the poll showing 16% of Americans read the comics daily and that 63% of Americans drink coffee.

New York State Department of Labor http://www.labor.state.ny.us/
An important statistical site for labor statistics and job information. The site is useful to both businesses and employees. There are forms, regulations, education, and training information. Statistics can also be pulled out by areas in the state.

New York Statistical Yearbook http://www.rockinst.org/nys_statistics/
The same volume we have used for years with about 700 pages of tables and graphs of statistics on a wide range of topics for New York State.

New York Times Mapping the Census   http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/map?hpBrowse population growth and decline, changes in racial and ethnic concentrations and patterns of housing development from every county I the us or overall using a colorful codes U.S. map.

Reference for Business http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/business-plans/ includes 11 volumes of a 21 hardback set in our Library Reference Collection.

University of Michigan Documents Center http://guides.lib.umich.edu/cat.php?cid=1471l
Access a broad range of government statistical data here. Access has been set up by both major categories, minor categories as well as a Google search. Topics range from abortion to world governments.

US Dept. of Commerce. Regional Economic Accounts http://www.bea.gov/regional/ The BEA regional economic accounts provide statistics about: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for states and metropolitan areas.Personal Income for states, counties, metropolitan areas, micropolitan areas, metropolitan divisions and combined statistical areas, and BEA economic areas. Also available: Employment, compensation, wage and salary disbursements, personal current transfer receipts, personal current taxes, farm income and expenses, and per capita personal income statistics.

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) http://www.uspto.gov/ is the Federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. In doing this, the USPTO fulfills the mandate of Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution that the Executive branch "promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries

Periodicals

Capital District Business Review http://albany.bizjournals.com/albany/
If you want to get the complete edition to the Business Review, you still need to subscribed to the print edition, but the on-line version does give selected coverage. Perhaps more importantly, at least for the library, you can search back issues on this site. If you need to go back beyond 1997, you can still search the libraries print index and use the microfilm.

EbscoHOST (In Reference Area)
Several full text and abstracting data bases are available under the Ebsco umbrella, two of which are of special interest to the business researcher. EbscoHOST includes full text of 1800 titles and abstracting for many more. Business Source Elite provides many of the same sources but includes some additional regional business publications. There is a small but growing number of images in the data base. Charts and graphs are often converted to table format. These data bases are available in CD-ROM versions and Internet versions at the library and are beginning in February 1998 available through the libraryís web page to Colonie library card holders at http://www.colonie.org/library/reference.html

Forbes http://www.forbes.com/ One of the premier business magazines, Forbes has also created a helpful website. It includes news, up to date stock commentary, those often quote lists of richest people and largest companies, and much more. Note especially the financial information available on companies. Put in a ticker symbol and get a variety of reports, simple to read but with more detail than I've seen elsewhere.

Inc.Com http://www.inc.com/
A magazine especially for small business owners. The site includes articles from the hard copy magazine and much more. Check out the research section where you can analyze any zip code on a large variety of variables. For example on an educational level the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area ranks 13th out of 318 areas. Also has advice and articles related to starting and running a business.

Miscellaneous Internet
http://dir.yahoo.com/News_and_Media/Business/
There now so many links to a business news sites that choosing is arbitrary. Yahoo presents a page cataloged by type, world news from international broadcasters, and a number of other options. In addition when you look up companies by ticker symbols, related articles are listed.

Red Herring: The Business of Technology http://www.redherring.com/
This is one of the new Internet related periodicals. It covers companies, trends, and the economics of e-commerce. Major sections include: Inside Tech, Investor News, IPO's, Industries, Companies, and Special Reports. Also provides free portfolio and stock tracking and analysis. Includes a very innovative stock analysis tool called Stockmaster.

Taxes

FindLaw Tax Web Guide - http://www.findlaw.com/11stategov/indextax.html
A good source for tax forms from other states. Includes links to tax sites for each of the 50 states, plus D.C.

Internal Revenue Service: Forms and Publications
http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html
The site provides the U.S. forms and the publications back to 1992. Also includes regulations issued since 1995. You can also view the US Code in its entirety.

New York State Tax and Finance http://www.tax.state.ny.us
Here is the site for the New York State tax forms. In addition there is information on electronic filing, publications, tax penalties and interest calculator, direct deposit, and a practitioner's guidebook.



Contact Richard Naylor, Library Director

To make suggestions about this site, to report dead links, or for information related to Business or Finance resources you may contact Mr. Naylor at:

William K. Sanford Town Library
629 Albany Shaker Road
Loudonville, NY 12211

Phone: (518) 458-9274
Fax: (518) 438-0988
E-mail: naylor@colonielibrary.org


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