Some business information is freely available on the web.
The U.S. Census Bureau has a wealth of demographic and economic information. For a brief statistical profile for your community, consult the State and County QuickFacts, which includes cities and towns with more than 5,000 people.
You can also read Narrative Profiles for cities and towns as well as neighborhoods (called Census Tracts) and other geographic entities by selecting a location from a map of the U.S. or from pull-down menus for places, counties, and other geographies.
Need even more data? Try searching https://data.census.gov/
Includes the ability to create custom tables, filtered by geography, topic, year or sector.
Census Business Builder is a mapping tool that allows the ability to search by type of business and location, which can be useful for scouting potential locations for small and medium-sized firms offering a select range of consumer products or services
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics periodically conducts the Consumer Expenditure Survey which provides information on consumers and their expenditures.
Trade association websites can include industry reports and statistics, advice for people planning businesses and careers, or lists of upcoming trade shows in the industry. Membership might offer additional benefits and information.
Here is a Google search that will often yield interesting trade associations:
Product or Industry + (organization or association)
Example: bakeries (organization or association)
ASQ Quality InfoSearch covers journals and conference proceedings from the American Society for Quality.
There are also hundreds of freely-accessible sources listed on the guide to Industry News and Trade Magazines.
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