The word "strategy" is written in all uppercase letters on a chalkboard. Around the word are eight arrows drawn with chalk. Each arrow points towards a different sticky note. Each sticky note has its own word and color. The colors for the sticky notes include: green, orange, and pink. The words for the sticky notes include: vision, growth, marketing, teamwork, motivation, focus, innovation, research, and vision.

START OR GROW YOUR ORGANIZATION

We’re bringing our small business and nonprofit know­-how to Library locations throughout Lucas County. Each month, you’ll find business and nonprofit specialist librarians at:
New schedule:
  • Mott: First Tuesday | 9 a.​m.​ to 5 p.​m.​
  • Heatherdowns: Second Tuesday | 9 a.​m.​ to 5 p.​m.​
  • Sylvania: Third Tuesday | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sanger: Fourth Tuesday | 9 a.​m.​ to 5 p.​m.​
Receive assistance with business plans, industry and donor research, nonprofit grants, and more!

45-minute appointments are available.

Looking to get started but unsure how? Find free, local business experts for technical assistance and resources through TOL Ramp. The Ramp can help you move forward by matching you with an organization that’s best positioned to assist you in your stage.

Let our staff help you find funding, start a nonprofit, research prospective donors, and develop a strategic or fundraising plan.

Need help getting started? Email our Small Business and Nonprofit Department or call 419.214.6131 to set up an appointment. You can also sign up for our monthly Nonprofit Support newsletter.

Personalized grants search for nonprofit organizations

Simply complete this FORM and your results will be emailed back to you.

Grant funding resources

Our staff can help whether you already have a business or you see an unmet need and want to start a business. We have the expertise and tools to help you: learn about the business you’re interested in; know your competition; define your overall goals, and create a business plan.

Need help getting started? Email our Small Business and Nonprofit Department or call 419.259.5244 to set up an appointment. You can also sign up for our quarterly Business newsletter.

Additional Business Resources

Business Associations and Local Chambers of Commerce

Local resources

State and federal resources

The Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) is part of a nationwide network of public, state, and academic libraries designated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to support the public with trademark and patent assistance.

One-to-One Assistance:

  • The Library offers one-to-one assistance with a Business Specialist Librarian to begin your search.
  • Researchers may make an appointment by calling 419.259.5244 or emailing business@toledolibrary.org
  • The USPTO website offers a public patent search you can do from home or office.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for helpful research tips or let us conduct a sample search with you.
  • Library staff are prohibited from conducting your actual search, offering legal advice or opinions.

Research session tips:

  • Determine what type of intellectual property you need.
  • Always start at a site ending in .GOV

Free Monthly Resource:
Ask a Patent/Trademark/Copyright Attorney is every FIRST Thursday 7 p.m. Offered online.

Additional quick links:

Product Photography: Principles for Smartphones

(M) June 17 | 5:30 — 7 p.m. | Main Library

Led by local product photographer Jennifer Beachy, learn universal basic principles for excellent product photography, and how these principles can be applied with a standard smartphone camera.

Register

Business Basics

Presented by the Small Business Development Center

(Tu) June 18 | 2:30 — 4 p.m. | Main Library

Thinking about starting, buying or expanding your new business? Business Basics is a seminar that will take the confusion out of your efforts and help you avoid costly mistakes or unnecessary steps.

Register

Minding Your Own Business

Bookkeeping for the small business

(Sa) June 22 | 10 a.m. — 3 p.m. | Main Library

Learning how to manage your bookkeeping as a business owner allows you to understand recordkeeping and create a system that will lead to accounting and financial projections.

Register

Grand Opening - Small Business and Nonprofit Workspace

(M) June 24 | 3 — 4 p.m. | Main Library

Celebrate the launch of the new Small Business and Nonprofit Workspace.

Register

The Entrepreneur's Roadmap: Business Plan Development

(W) June 26 | 10 — 11:30 a.m. | Main Library

Ready to start your journey toward a new business venture? If you’re convinced that entrepreneurship is the route for you, take this introductory business planning course to chart a strong foundation.

Register

Business Basics

Presented by the Small Business Development Center

(Tu) July 9 | 9:30 — 11:30 a.m. | Heatherdowns

Thinking about starting, buying or expanding your new business? Business Basics is a seminar that will take the confusion out of your efforts and help you avoid costly mistakes or unnecessary steps.

Register

One Year Action Plan for Success

(Sa) July 20 | 10 a.m. — 3 p.m. | Main Library

This program will take your business plans and create an operational and strategic plan that will be true to your mission and core values while activating your vision and goals.

Register

Business Basics

Presented by the Small Business Development Center

(Tu) July 23 | 2:30 — 4:30 p.m. | Sanger

Thinking about starting, buying or expanding your new business? Business Basics is a seminar that will take the confusion out of your efforts and help you avoid costly mistakes or unnecessary steps.

Register

Minding Your Own Business

Bookkeeping for the small business

(Sa) August 3 | 10 a.m. — 3 p.m. | Main Library

Learning how to manage your bookkeeping as a business owner allows you to understand recordkeeping and create a system that will lead to accounting and financial projections.

Register

Business Basics

Presented by the Small Business Development Center

(Tu) August 6 | 2:30 — 4:30 p.m. | Mott

Thinking about starting, buying or expanding your new business? Business Basics is a seminar that will take the confusion out of your efforts and help you avoid costly mistakes or unnecessary steps.

Register

Media Relations for Small Businesses & Nonprofit

(W) August 7 | 10 a.m. — noon | Main Library

Did you know that press releases can improve brand visibility by nearly 70%? In this class, learn effective media relations strategies that will positively impact your organization.  

Register

Ask a Patent/Copyright/Trademark Attorney

(Th) August 8 | 7 — 8:30 p.m. | Online Programs

Attorneys will provide an overview of intellectual property, explain the differences between patents, trademarks and copyright, and be available to answer your questions.

Register

Future-Proof Finances: Strategies for Small Business Owners

(M) August 12 | 5:30 — 6:30 p.m. | Main Library

This financial literacy workshop series will cover essential topics tailored to the needs of small business owners. Session one of three will cover insurance, taxation and compliance.

Register

Grantseeking Tools for Nonprofits

(W) August 14 | 10:30 — 11:30 a.m. | Main Library

Get a bite-sized overview on how to find a funder who aligns with your nonprofit's mission.

Register

Business Basics

Presented by the Small Business Development Center

(Tu) August 20 | 9:30 — 11:30 a.m. | Sylvania

Thinking about starting, buying or expanding your new business? Business Basics is a seminar that will take the confusion out of your efforts and help you avoid costly mistakes or unnecessary steps.

Register

The Entrepreneur's Roadmap: Business Plan Development

(W) August 21 | 10 — 11:30 a.m. | Main Library

Ready to start your journey toward a new business venture? If you’re convinced that entrepreneurship is the route for you, take this introductory business planning course to chart a strong foundation.

Register

One Year Action Plan for Success

(Sa) August 24 | 10 a.m. — 3 p.m. | Main Library

This program will take your business plans and create an operational and strategic plan that will be true to your mission and core values while activating your vision and goals.

Register

Future-Proof Finances: Strategies for Small Business Owners

(M) August 26 | 5:30 — 6:30 p.m. | Main Library

This financial literacy workshop series will cover essential topics tailored to the needs of small business owners. Session two of three will cover savings, budgeting and retirement planning.

Register

GrantsLab: Introduction to Proposal Writing

(W) August 28 | 2 — 3:30 p.m. | Main Library

Learn how to build the foundation of a solid nonprofit grant proposal.

Register

Ask a Patent/Copyright/Trademark Attorney

(Th) September 5 | 7 — 8:30 p.m. | Online Programs

Attorneys will provide an overview of intellectual property, explain the differences between patents, trademarks and copyright, and be available to answer your questions.

Register

Future-Proof Finances: Strategies for Small Business Owners

(M) September 9 | 5:30 — 6:30 p.m. | Main Library

This financial literacy workshop series will cover essential topics tailored to the needs of small business owners. Session three of three will cover investment basics.

Register

Grantseeking Tools for Nonprofits

(W) September 11 | 10:30 — 11:30 a.m. | Main Library

Get a bite-sized overview on how to find a funder who aligns with your nonprofit's mission.

Register

Managing Business Banking

(M) September 23 | 3 — 4:30 p.m. | Main Library

Learn how personal finances and credit scores can impact financing for your business, different types of financing available for businesses and how to prepare for the application process.

Register

Product Photography: Principles for Smartphones

(W) September 25 | 1:30 — 3 p.m. | Main Library

Led by local product photographer Jennifer Beachy, learn universal basic principles for excellent product photography, and how these principles can be applied with a standard smartphone camera.

Register

Ask a Patent/Copyright/Trademark Attorney

(Th) October 3 | 7 — 8:30 p.m. | Online Programs

Attorneys will provide an overview of intellectual property, explain the differences between patents, trademarks and copyright, and be available to answer your questions.

Register

Grantseeking Tools for Nonprofits

(W) October 9 | 10:30 — 11:30 a.m. | Main Library

Get a bite-sized overview on how to find a funder who aligns with your nonprofit's mission.

Register

Content Planning: Getting Ahead of the Holidays

(Th) October 10 | 10 a.m. — noon | Main Library

Enter the busy season ready to engage your audience! This class will guide you in developing a content plan adaptable toward marketing Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Giving Tuesday and more.

Register

Managing Business Banking

(Tu) October 22 | 10:30 a.m. — noon | Main Library

Learn how personal finances and credit scores can impact financing for your business, different types of financing available for businesses and how to prepare for the application process.

Register

GrantsLab: Introduction to Proposal Writing

(W) November 6 | 2 — 3:30 p.m. | Main Library

Learn how to build the foundation of a solid nonprofit grant proposal.

Register

Ask a Patent/Copyright/Trademark Attorney

(Th) November 7 | 7 — 8:30 p.m. | Online Programs

Attorneys will provide an overview of intellectual property, explain the differences between patents, trademarks and copyright, and be available to answer your questions.

Register

Grantseeking Tools for Nonprofits

(W) November 13 | 10:30 — 11:30 a.m. | Main Library

Get a bite-sized overview on how to find a funder who aligns with your nonprofit's mission.

Register

Ask a Patent/Copyright/Trademark Attorney

(Th) December 5 | 7 — 8:30 p.m. | Online Programs

Attorneys will provide an overview of intellectual property, explain the differences between patents, trademarks and copyright, and be available to answer your questions.

Register
2023-09-28T17:21:57+00:00

D&B Hoovers

Companies gain a deeper understanding of their market opportunities so they can make more informed decisions by combining and analyzing data from a wide variety of sources.

2023-10-30T13:23:03+00:00

GuideStar

Philanthropic research report database designed to fill in the knowledge gaps you need to find the best charities to which to donate.
*Available only inside Library Locations.