Maryland Small Business Development Center

Business Research Platforms

Free Platforms

Maryland is Open for Business - - Business resources from Maryland state. A one-stop resource with wealth of information for those seeking to start or expand a business. It also contains resources on financing, networking, workforce, government contacting, and more. You can examine key industries and overall economic development performance indicators, explore key industry sections, and explore community economic data by county.

Maryland Business Express - - excellent business resources with a step-by-step advice for planning, starting, and growing your business with links to required or recommended applications and forms. – Excellent resource for entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting a business. It offers small business snapshot reports for lots of popular industries, helpful links on starting, growing, and managing your small business, and links to more additional industry research resources.

Data-Axle (Formerly This business database contains in depth information on more than 24 million businesses in both the U.S. and Canada. Great resource for researching competitors and potential business partners, supply chain, as well as review business performance benchmarks of similar small businesses in your area and/or industry.

The platform is available for free via your county public library website with the library subscription.

Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition - - The platform uses Census data and is ideal for small business owners who need key data for their business plan or to better understand their potential market. You can select geographical location of your potential or existing business to understand market conditions in the area, socio-demographics of population, and other characteristics. The research can be also done for nearly all types of businesses. The platform provides interactive maps to browse and download data about the selected area and type of businesses as well as easy to read reports.

ZoomProspector from Maryland Department of Commerce - excellent free tool that can help you find the right location for your business. You can choose a specific property or drop a pin on the map and do research on the surrounding area. The reports can include socio-demographics of population in the selected area, data on consumer spending and businesses. You can even select a list of nearby businesses in the industry of your interest and review their employment and sales data. ZoomProspetor has several YouTube training videos.

Maryland State Data - This website is an official partner with the U.S. Census Bureau. SDC monitors development trends in the state, analyzes social, economic and other characteristics and prepares population, housing, employment, labor force, and income projections for different geographies.

Fundera - - This app compares multiple small business loan options that may be available for your business based on several parameters, including the required loan amount. The website also offers a details comparison of available business credit card options, business checking accounts, and payments processing systems.

Fit Small Business - - A collection of expert advice and answers to small business questions from industry experts in many business areas, including starting a business, marketing, accounting, financing, online business, and many others.

Free research platforms with the SBDC assistance

Vertical IQ – provides an industry overview for your current or future business, financial resources and credit risks, financial benchmarks for average small business in your industry. The SBDC consultant can order if for you for free as part of the consulting assistance. As part of our consulting assistance, a SBDC consultant can order free customized research reports targeted to your individual business. The analysis may include a broad range of financial, market, and demographic research reports customized to your client’s industry and geographic location (3-10 miles radius or drive time).

LivePlan - - highly effective tool to assist in writing a business plan with our SBDC guidance.

To assist you further with your research effors and starting and growing your business you can reach out to an SBDC counselor for a one-on-one consulting assistance.