News from the Reference Desk Category: Business

Cook County Community Recovery Loan Fund Now Accepting Applications

Cook County has launched an initiative to provide economic relief to small businesses and independent contractors in response to COVID-19. Beginning today, the Community Recovery Loan Fund is accepting applications. The $10 million fund offers one-time, zero-interest loans up to $20,000 for small businesses and up to $10,000 for independent contractors. The fund is only available in Suburban Cook County. Application deadline is June 17, 2020
Who can apply?
Small Businesses  are eligible if they are: 
  • Employing 25 or fewer employees
  • Earning less than $3 million in annual revenue
  • Located in suburban Cook County, and
  • Revenues have decreased more than 25% as a result of COVID-19
Independent Contractors  are eligible if you are:
  • Making at least half of your yearly income in 1099 contract work 
  • Earning less than $100,000 annually 
  • Residing in suburban Cook County 

RBdigital Big Bonus!

The Library is a longtime subscriber the magazine streaming resource RBdigital. Just recently we’ve upped the game. From only 55 different magazine titles, we now have thousands. I was up to page 7 on the results list when I gave up counting.  Some that I’ve been enjoying the past week include Archaeology, Cook’s Illustrated, Bon Appetit, GQ France, Architectural Digest India, and National Geographic Mexico. If you have a printer and crayons, you can print pages from the coloring books for adults! Yes, there is an app.

Our other magazine streaming site is PressReader. It has some of the same magazines but thousands of others as well as newspapers including Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune. It also has a great app.

December is National Write a Business Plan Month

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, budding small business owner or seasoned veteran of owning your own business, one thing you’ll definitely appreciate is the importance of having a solid business plan. Just in time for December–National Write a Business Plan Month–MPPL is here to help. Check out our collection for books on writing business plans, or dive right in by accessing Gale Small Business Builder from our list of web resources! GSBB is a user-friendly database that walks you through a step-by-step process for writing a business plan. It even works in tandem with related Gale Business databases to help you create a comprehensive plan designed for whatever your business, from retail to consulting and beyond. Try it this month and check out this video tutorial!

Does Your Business Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Even with ample warning, no business owner can truly anticipate the extent to which a disaster may impeded their business’ ability to get back to normal after the crisis is over. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), up to 60% of small businesses never reopen their doors after a disaster. One way to improve the odds is by having a Disaster Recovery Plan. Read more about it and download a Disaster Recovery Plan template created by experts at Purdue University Global here.

Get Help from the Small Business Administration

If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur with a great idea, you may be looking for resources to help answer some of the many questions you most likely have. Well, the Mount Prospect Public library is here to help–with a little assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA)! The SBA is the government agency tasked with providing information and programs dedicated to assisting small businesses, and one of the best is their yearly Small Business Resource Guide. Inside you’ll find info on everything from how to start a business and writing a business plan to programs designed to help veterans and native Americans, as well as funding sources. Just click above or HERE to get started, or grab a paper copy from the Business Resource Center behind the Research desk. And if you need help navigating this or other business resources available at the library, MPPL Business Reference Joe Collier is available for one-on-one reference appointments–just email or call the library to set one up!