Find Local Business and Market Information Effortlessly with Research on Main Street

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Professional Researcher Marcy Phelps Presents a Unique and Useful Guide to Finding Business and Market Information about Places Using Free and Low-cost Online Resources.

Research on Main Street

“Local personalities, economics, and demographics often impact pivotal business decisions. This book is the authority on how to approach, identify, and use local resources to make important strategic decisions.” Ellen Naylor, CEO, Business Intelligence

At the 25th Annual Conference of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP), Information Today, Inc. (ITI) announced the publication of Research on Main Street: Using the Web to Find Local Business and Market Information by Marcy Phelps.

Even in a global economy, businesses need targeted, localized information about customers, companies, and industries. But as skilled searchers know, adding the element of geography to any research project creates new challenges. With Research on Main Street, Marcy Phelps presents a unique and useful guide to finding business and market information about places—including counties, cities, census blocks, and other sub-state areas—using free and low-cost online resources.

“If you are involved in starting, running, or building a business in any way, at some point you are going to need to find local-level information to help you fill in the gaps or make decisions. But it shouldn’t be such a difficult task,” says Phelps in the book’s Introduction. “Although they’re sometimes hard to find, good local sources exist, and new ones are introduced almost daily. You just have to know where to look, and you need a few tips to make the process go quickly and smoothly.” Readers will discover expert techniques and strategies for approaching location-specific research, including advice on how to tap local sources for in-depth information about business and economic conditions, issues, and outlooks.

“Performing local market research is a completely different terrain than researching larger-scale companies,” states Michael Gurton, program director of MarketLink. “Research on Main Street is an essential guide for knowing where to look, evaluating good resources and who to talk to. Following Phelps’s instructions, it will be possible to develop the craftiness and savvy to find valuable information to help local business and communities.”

In addition to the nine chapters and the foreword by Mary Ellen Bates, Research on Main Street includes an introduction by the author, chapter sidebars with an expert researcher’s advice for finding local business information, case studies, two appendices, and an index. Readers can get more tips and content on Phelps’ companion website at

Praise for Research on Main Street:

“As a long-time researcher focusing on business and economic research at the local level, I read this book with anticipation and was not disappointed. ... I gained a wealth of new insights about sources and strategies. … A gold mine!”

—Christine Hamilton-Pennell, founder and president, Growing Local Economies, Inc.

“My favorite thing about this book is its practical focus: It’s impossible to read any page of this useful guide and not come away with at least one handy tip for improving your research technique.”

—Robin Neidorf, director of research, FreePint

Marcy Phelps is the president of Phelps Research, which provides professional research and research training services that help clients find and use strategic business information. She founded the company in 2000 after obtaining a master’s degree in library and information services from the University of Denver. She is a past president of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP). Marcy is a contributing editor for FUMSI, a publication for people who find, use, manage, and share information. She frequently writes and speaks on a variety of topics, from business and networking skills to finding and evaluating information on the web.

Research on Main Street: Using the Web to Find Local Business and Market Information (280 pp/softbound/$29.95/ISBN 978-0-910965-88-0) is a CyberAge Book from Information Today, Inc. (ITI). It is available in bookstores through Independent Publishers Group (IPG) and direct from the publisher by calling (800) 300-9868 [outside U.S. call (609) 654-6266]; faxing (609) 654-4309; emailing [email protected]; or visiting the ITI website at


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