us flag Happy Independence Day! All Clearwater libraries will be closed Friday, July 3rd and Saturday, July 4th. Countryside Library will also be closed on Thursday, July 2nd.

Small Business Guide

The Clearwater Public Library System offers a variety of resources on HOW TO OPEN A SMALL BUSINESS and ENTREPRENEURSHIP. Through a collection of books, databases, websites, and agency contacts, you can find the information you need for your new venture.

To find print and DVD Clearwater Public Library System resources check the Catalog. Use the SUBJECT or KEYWORD search options and enter the subject you wish to search. Use also SORT BY and choose PUBLICATION DATE, to obtain the most recently published books in the collection. You will get the titles and call numbers of materials in the Clearwater Public Library System and the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative for that subject. Most of the books for these subject headings are located in the following range of call numbers: 331 - 338.74 and 650 - 658.8708. These are examples of the subject headings you can use:


Business Plans

To find out how to write a business plan and to see sample copies of business plans for different businesses, check out these books:

Books on how to open a business in Florida include:


Check out the free database Demographics Now for national and local demographic profiles. All you need is a library card.

The Reference Department has compiled a City of Clearwater Demographic Notebook (located at the Reference Desk at the Main Library) that contains demographics for the Clearwater area from a variety of publications and local sources. These include the U.S. Census, The Florida Statistical Abstract (REF317.59/Flo), and the City of Clearwater Annual Report.

National, regional, state and county demographics are also available from a variety of online and print sources. Check with a Librarian for more information.

Government Documents

The Clearwater Public Library is a government documents depository site. Business serial sources from the U.S. Government Printing Office include: Commerce Business Daily which lists notices of U.S. procurement and contract awards; Export America, the federal source for your global business needs is designed to help U.S. businesses export by providing practical information about every step of the exporting process; Survey of Current Business provides statistics on the U.S. government's economic situation. The National Trade and Data Bank (NTDB) which is available through the STAT-USA government database also contains information about exporting and international trade.

IRS Federal Tax Forms
Commerce Business Daily
Code of Federal Regulations for OSHA rulings
Small Business Association

Internet Resources

Access to the Internet is available at all five Clearwater Public Library locations, as well as Computer Help classes with our techs. We can help you build a Facebook page for your business, sign up for a Twitter account, or become more proficient with e-mail. Check our computer training site for online tutorials to assist you and links to other computer classes.

The City of Clearwater's web site contains information on the various city departments. Under Planning & Development Services you can find information on permits and applications, occupational licenses, site inspections, planning and zoning codes and laws. The Economic Development Department page has information on commercial and residential loans, doing business in Clearwater and a Business Guide for starting a business in Clearwater. You can also access a variety of local, county, state and national business sites. The Engineering page has information on city construction, environmental regulations, field engineering and parking.

Your Florida library card provides you access to Florida's E-Library, including Business and Company Resource Center, Demographics Now, Small Business Resource Center, and a number of magazines of interest to business owners.


Clearwater Code of Ordinances
Clearwater Community Development Code
inellas County Code
State of F
lorida Statutes


To research other businesses and competitors in the area as well as to research marketing leads, the library has many business directories and online sources.

  • Reference USA is available anywhere with a Clearwater Public Library card. It is an online resource containing information on over 12 million businesses in the U.S. You can search by company name, SIC code, or yellow page heading. The geographic area can be selected for national, state, city, county or zip code.
Check at the Check at the Main Library Reference Desk for more information about these resources.

Researching the Market

There are various tools you can use to research a particular market segment. Check out our Subscription Databases, which includes InfoTrac, which is available anywhere with a Clearwater Public Library card, is a periodical index database that includes articles on business and management topics.

Print resources include:

  • Small Business Sourcebook (REF658.022/SMA) is designed to facilitate the start-up, development and growth of specific small businesses. It provides information on specific small business profiles, general business topics, such as business plans, competitive pricing, marketing, etc. It also contains a state listing of small business consultants, educational programs and financial and local programs.
  • Standard & Poors Industry Survey (REF Business Section) contains industry information for 52 industry groupings. These issues include recent developments, industry basics and company data. Updated twice a year.

Check with a Librarian for more information about other resources.

Trademark Searches

State and national trademark searches are provided by the Pinellas County Cooperative's Answer Center as a business service to Pinellas County library clients.

Patents and trademarks can be searched online at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office web site.

Local Area Business Contacts

  • City of Clearwater Economic Development Department.
    Provides technical assistance to businesses in the loan application process.
    112 S. Osceola Ave. Clearwater, FL 33758-4748 (727) 562-4220

  • Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce.
    Provides business referrals, Resource Center, networking events, and a monthly newsletter.
    1130 Cleveland St. Clearwater, FL 33755 (727) 461-0011

  • Pinellas County Economic Development.
    County agency that provides business assistance, retention and new business start-up information.
    14010 Roosevelt Blvd. Ste. 704 Clearwater, FL 33762 (727) 464-7332 or (800)759-JOBS

  • SCORE-Service Corps of Retired Executives.
    Volunteer counseling organization associated with the U.S. Small Business Administration that offers free counseling for small businesses.
    4707 140th Ave. N. Ste. 311 Clearwater, FL 33762 (727)532-6800

Social Networking

We've been fortunate to feature marketing Professor Amy Sauers at the Main Library lecturing on using starting a small business and leveraging technology to grow your ideas and build your audience. Her powerpoint presentations are available online from Slideshare and you can learn more from her blog.

Network online with these local business groups on Facebook

Government Services

Listings of community assistance resources in the Tampa Bay Area. Citizens can find help and referral information to various support agencies on all topics of concern.  Apply for food stamps, get Medicaid or temporary cash assistance  Unemployment Compensation Claim your weeks for re-employment here  Contact elected federal officials  Federal Document Links Florida Department of Corrections  Hurricane Preparedness Information  Get Help Florida website
Pinellas Memory

Clearwater Sun Archive

Explore local history at Pinellas Memory, including historic newspapers, photographs, and documents.

Library Databases

Research Databases