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University of Massachusetts Amherst

Family Business Center

Expand Your Business Information Network

By Christine Turner

You determine your business direction by asking questions about your existing and potential suppliers, workforce, customers, and competitors. Finding answers to those questions from reliable and current sources amidst a plethora of information can be tricky. For quick answers business people commonly rely on internal data, a network of colleagues, and their existing service and materials suppliers. But what about when your usual sources are unavailable, or you want another set of facts or point of view? MassBedrock (http://www.massbedrock.org) is a Web portal of timely, freely available information for those doing and supporting business in Massachusetts.

Developed and actively maintained by librarians at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, MassBedrock provides many tools to the business person. Browse the collections of resources to find:

  • Directories of local, statewide, national, and global companies, associations, and organizations.
  • Customized maps using Massachusetts data that show land use, tax rates, utilities, employment, education, income, and more.
  • Guides to answer such questions as "How do I price my product?" and "What am I worth?"
  • Passport services and information, as well as survival phrases and grammar for over 30 languages.
  • A listing of economic development and business assistance agencies statewide or by region.

In addition, you can browse the directory of over 600 sites through subjects such as consumer information, electronic commerce, employment and labor, finance, global business, industries, legal resources, and marketing.

MassBedrock can help you find information you need when you need it. To retrieve specific information, enter your own terms in "Search MassBedrock." The MassBedrock search engine covers over 100,000 full-text files. If you would like assistance searching MassBedrock or other business resources, consult with a research professional near you. The Massachusetts Libraries Directory provides contact information for services across the Commonwealth.

MassBedrock is in its third year of operation, and it's produced with major funding from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. For MassBedrock news, highlighted resources, and search tips, subscribe to the monthly publication MassBedrock Updates. Expand your business information network with the many resources provided to you as a public service by MassBedrock.

Highlighted MassBedrock Resource: InfoTrac Databases

With a valid Massachusetts public library card, you can log on from anywhere to use the databases Predicasts PROMT, Business and Company Resource Center, and General BusinessFile. These databases are excellent sources for investment analyst reports, market research data, articles from trade journals, news, company profiles and more. Licenses to these and other specialized databases are purchased by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners for use by Massachusetts residents. To logon and search these resources, visit the MassBedrock Subject Databases page.

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