A Portland library is stepping up its services for businesses statewide

When an entrepreneur lately essential aid setting up a gold mining procedure in his home region of Congo, he turned to most likely an not likely supply of guidance: the Portland Community Library.

The library not only gave him obtain to organization expert services and facts, but also linked him with persons in the field, together with skilled excavators in western Maine.

All with the assistance of a free library card.

The Portland General public Library is now working to expand its providers for company, claimed Myles Robert, the Portland Public Library’s enterprise and govt librarian. The assistance ranges from workshops on commencing and developing a small business to accessing 1000’s of actual business plans.

The library serves just about 700,000 readers to its 4 spots and bookmobile each and every 12 months.

“Access to Portland General public Library’s business resource selection didn’t skip a beat through the COVID lockdown. We continued to invest in the most current greatest-marketing publications every single thirty day period and preserved our calendar of gatherings, albeit on the net. Meanwhile, utilization of our database collection stayed constant,” Robert explained.

The library offers methods these kinds of as the company designs assortment, located on the library website, with 45 volumes of additional than 1,000 authentic small business strategies in a broad variety of industries. Lots of of the designs are “unique and really eccentric,” Robert stated.

The library assists business people outside of Portland, Robert said, and have bundled a seaweed operation on the midcoast and a hair salon geared for persons of colour in Androscoggin County.

Whilst the library is cost-free for Portland people and personnel, organization owners outdoors of Cumberland and York counties can obtain access to the Portland Public Library’s means for $20 a calendar year.

The library is broadening internet entry by extending its Wi-Fi signal to Monument Square 24 hrs a working day and to patrons’ Wi-Fi hotspots. A former member of Portland Metropolis Council applauded the circulation of hotspots, stating it allowed her to show up at a council conference practically even though she was in the Moosehead Lake location, Robert said. 

The library also is trying to participate in its aspect in workforce growth by helping both equally job seekers and business house owners seeking for staff.

“Given that the recent labor market place is of vital issue to the achievements of our local business enterprise neighborhood, we are raising the assets that we give for work seekers and enterprises on the lookout to seek the services of,” Robert claimed.

“We are functioning closely with the Greater Portland CareerCenter as nicely as the town of Portland’s Department of Financial Possibility and the Small Enterprise Alliance. This slide the library will establish alone as a CareerCenter Hub.”

The library also features “Resources for Your Little Organization Workshops” in partnership with Rating and New Ventures. 

“We have experienced excellent attendance in each individual session. We typically obtain requests for superior instruction from specific business people subsequent up just after they’ve attended these workshops,” Robert said.

The library also collaborates with the Increased Portland Chamber of Commerce by providing looking through resources related to its Eggs & Issues business enterprise forum each month. Organizations these kinds of as the Immigrant Welcome Center and Workforce Solutions also have collaborated with the library.