Small Business Resource Center

Open for Your Business

The Small Business Resource Center is located on the Lower Level of our Main Library and provides the timely and reliable business information you need to start, manage, and grow your business.

The Small Business Resource Center is funded by the Grand Rapids Library Foundation – Tiche Family Fund. Consider a donation today.

Business Classes

The library has a variety of Small Business classes to help you in everything from Facebook marketing to business planning! Classes will resume in the fall. Check back for a complete listing.

Contact Us

Call 616.988.5400 or contact the Business Librarian for general questions. Request business research assistance with this form.

Books By the Stack for Business

Come check out Small Giants by Bo Burlingham, To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink, and The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, complete with study questions (Burlingham, Pink or Ries) to help you get the most out of your business reading!

Foundation Center Resources

Foundation Directory Online Professional
Allows you to search over 140,000 foundations and corporate donors, and grant-making public charities, as well as over 6 million grants from the largest foundations and corporate funders. Only available within the library or our seven neighborhood branches.

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online
An online database of more than 10,000 foundation and public charity programs that fund students, artists, researchers, and other individual grantseekers. Only available within the library or our seven neighborhood branches.

Foundation Center
An abundance of ‘get started’ information and directories: A short course on proposal writing, and on budgeting for proposals; a guide for individual grantseekers, and for foundation research, as well as a directory of foundations and direct links to grantmaker web sites.

The Foundation Center’s new website for new grantseekers has free courses on setting up a nonprofit, finding funding, etc.

Library Resources for Nonprofits

Grants and Related Resources
MSU Librarian Jon Harrison’s outstanding site for online grants information and fund raising links.

No Free Money
A Toledo nonprofit librarian quashes the rumors of “Free Money” and goes on to list and discuss other sources of financial assistance.

Federal Resources
The official site for federal and state assistance programs for individuals.
Official database of the federal loan programs.
Search the 900 grants programs of the federal government to find one for your organization; you can even apply online.

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
Allows keyword or advanced searches of all 1,800 Federal programs. This is the official site.

Statewide and Local Resources

Community Research Institute
Charts, graphs, statistics, and links for Grand Rapids and West Michigan, including demographics, income, crime records, and much more.

Michigan Charities
FAQs and forms from the Attorney General’s Office.

Council of Michigan Foundations
An association of more than 360 foundations and corporations making grants for charitable purposes primarily in Michigan. Includes information about the association’s purpose, programs, and publications.

Johnson Center for Philanthropy
GVSU’s center supports research on philanthropy and nonprofit management. Popular pages include a consultant directory, a nonprofit directory, and Startup Information and Good Practice Guides for nonprofits.

Michigan Grant Opportunities eGrants
A new electronic database for finding State government grants, as well as grants from other sources – covering anywhere from 300-500 current funding opportunities at any given time.

Michigan Humanities Council
Site includes grant guidelines and application packet, mini-grants,and statewide and regional projects.

Nonprofit Watchdogs

Limited free information, including address, purpose and links to 990’s when available, on more than a million nonprofit organizations in the U.S. Users must go through free registration.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Evaluates fund raising charities, so a donor can “Evaluate before you donate.”

American Institute of Philanthropy Charity Watch
A charity rating service. Their “top-rated” charity list is free.

Small Business Databases

Jump start your business research with our Small Business Databases.

Small Business e-Newsletter

Winter 2017 e-Newsletter

    Past Newsletters
    Winter 2016
    Spring 2016

    SCORE at the Library

    Need help with business plan writing? Looking for certified expertise from entrepreneurs ready to help you succeed in your small business? Then look no further than your library and SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business! SCORE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs like you succeed in the world of small business. They can help with the development and writing of a business plan, or any aspect of an existing business in need of further development. A SCORE certified business counselor will be holding business consulting sessions at the library in the lower level near GRPL’s Small Business Resource Center on the first Thursday morning of every month. Please stop by; appointments are free of charge. For further information about SCORE and the Grand Rapids Public Library’s Small Business Resource Center, please call 616-988-5402, ex. 5486 or send an e-mail to SCORE and the GRPL SBRC: We’re Open for your Business!