Blogs: Business

Do you own a small-business? One of the best ways to get tax information and help for your small business is by visiting the IRS Small Business Tax Center where you can learn everything from how to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) online to how to best navigate an audit.

You can also call the IRS Business & Specialty Toll Free number at 1-800-829-4933, open Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 7:00 pm.

The IRS began accepting 2013 business tax returns on Monday, January 13, 2014. This start date applies to both electronically-filed and paper-filed returns. The only exception is Form 1041 for Estates and Trusts, which cannot be filed until January 31. More information can be found in the IRS’ press release titled “Starting Jan. 13, 2014, Business Tax Filers Can File 2013 Returns.”

Once again, the library is here to help small businesses, so go ahead and contact us!

Back on Saturday, September 28, 2013, the library participated in the 20th annual Oregon Small Business Fair at the Portland State University Business Accelerator. This is an annual free event with various organizations promoting their resources to help entrepreneurs, as well as lectures and business seminars for a small fee. Visit Mt. Hood Community College's Small Business Development Center for more information. 

Multnomah County Library hosted a booth to inform small business owners about the many resources available through their library. We introduced small business owners to online databases with actual sample business plans and legal forms, magazine articles about local businesses, books and ebooks on planning, marketing, financing and managing a business enterprise, and more.

For more information on how the library can help you with your small business, please see our small business blog at: with links to local events, booklists and access to many online small business resources. And as always, you can contact us anytime via email, chat, phone and in-person. Or Book a Librarian today for customized, one-on-one help!

Every nonprofit has to start somewhere and the library is a great first stop. Since 1973, Multnomah County Library has been part of the  Foundation Center's Funding Information Network, a nonprofit organization established in 1956 concerned exclusively with gathering, analyzing and disseminating information on philanthropic foundations. Foundation Center libraries are located throughout the United States.

Via our Nonprofit Resource Center, Multnomah County Library makes the publications of the Foundation Center available to the public along with other materials on foundations, corporate philanthropy, government grants, proposal writing, fundraising and nonprofit management. Library staff provide help in using these materials, and brief reference questions can be answered by telephone. Some of the indexes and directories published by the Foundation Center are also available online. Multnomah County Library provides access to these online Foundation Directory resources, including Foundation Directory Online Professional, a database of nearly 100,000 U.S.-based foundations, grantmaking public charities, and corporate givers and IRS 990s, has federal grant information and offers periodicals, newsletters and the Foundation Center's Web site, which contains current information on nonprofit management, grantmakers, news and events. And here are a few more handy sites that will help you track down just the right way to kick off your cause. 

A directory of Federal programs, projects, service and activities which provide assistance to the American public. It contains financial and nonfinancial assistance programs administered by departments of the Federal government.
An independent organization that evaluates the financial health of America's largest charities. Rates charities on their fundraising efficiency; fundraising, program, and administration expenses; primary revenue growth; and capital ratio. Can be searched by keywords, category of charity, or geographic region.
A nationally prominent charity rating and evaluation service dedicated to helping donors make informed giving decisions.
Provides news and information for nonprofit leaders, fund raisers, grant makers, and other people involved in the philanthropic enterprise. It also offers lists of grants, fundraising ideas and techniques, statistics, and more.
A National Charity Reports Index provides reports on charities and other soliciting organizations that solicit nationally. Reports on local charities that solicit regionally are also available via a link to local Better Business Bureaus. Reports provide contact information, evaluation conclusions, programs, governance, fund raising, tax status, and financials.
A central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs awarded to universities, researchers, cities, states, counties, and nonprofit organizations.
A comprehensive directory of public and private research funding resources from the Society for Research Administrators International.
The center provides links to more than 70 nonprofit groups' websites and the "Nonprofit Locator," a searchable data base of IRS data on charities in the United States.
On-line search tool that allows users to search for tax-exempt organizations that are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.
National clearinghouse of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States.
Formerly known as TACS, this is a statewide network of nonprofits, foundations, business partners, and individuals dedicated to supporting Oregon’s nonprofit sector.
In order to solicit for donations in Oregon, most charitable organizations must be registered with the Oregon Department of Justice. Before you give, check their database or call (971) 673-1880 to confirm that the organization is properly registered. Also has information on how to become a charity.
An overview of key topics for consideration by people who work for, lead, or support nonprofit organizations in the United States.

Yeah, that shoe box is probably not the best place to keep your nest egg. The library has a lot of great online resources that can help you make wise decisions about where to put your money. Take a look at Mergent Online and Standard & Poors NetAdvantage, both available from anywhere with a valid library card.

Here are some other websites to help you grow your savings:

Charts, reports, indicators and quotes on over 24,000 US stocks, mutual funds, and major market indexes. Historical quotes back to 1970.

EDGAR Database of Corporate Information
As of May 6, 1996 all public domestic companies are required to file SEC forms electronically on EDGAR, the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis & Retrieval system.
Comprehensive information for investors, including links to market news and commentary, stock research, personal finance, and education.

Do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments.

Do you smell a fishy product? Want to find out if others think this is the best possible product to buy? Read on to find a few resources that we suggest when making buying decisions.

Bank Rate Monitor
Rates for mortgages, auto loans, home equity loans, savings, credit cards, and checking accounts.

Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau provides contact information for your local bureau by zipcode, access to business and consumer alerts, business and charity reports and a way to file a complaint online.

A Fannie Mae site to help you buy or refinance a home.

Insurance Ratings
Provides consumers with letter-grade ratings for insurance companies from Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings. The ratings are based on the insurer's ability to pay policyholder claims.

SHOP: Credit Card Rates
Information on how to choose a credit card and a survey of current credit card plans and rates.

And don't forget, we're here to help, just ask a librarian!  

Forbes Lists: Companies
Lists of companies include the 200 best small companies, the Private 500, America's 500 Leading Companies, the Platinum 400, the International 800, and Best Places. Listings contain contact information, web addresses, basic revenue, assets, market value, and stock price and earnings information. Searchable.

ThomasNet (formerly Thomas Register)
ThomasNet is a directory containing over 72,000 product headings and 170,000 U.S. and Canadian manufacturers. It allows you to search by product, company or brand name. Provides you with basic contact information as well as links to websites and e-catalogs. Free registration required for some features.

Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments.

Want to find out how your stocks are doing? Want to track down the hottest companies to invest in? Starting a business? Stopping a business? You need information. Here are a few places to look.

American City Business Journals
This research database has access to local business news & information from metropolitan business newspapers in many American cities. To use it, you'll need your library card number and pin code to log in. You can access this resource from anywhere you want.

Portland Business Journal
The PBJ is an interactive site giving business news for greater Portland, with links to stories from the print edition. A pull down menu allows you to look at Business Journals of other cities. Current and archive editions are searchable.

CNN is one of the most visited in the world and it provides news and articles on U.S. and international companies, stock markets, currencies and interest rates.

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