Research an Industry

Here are some of the best resources we’ve found to help you research industries in the Charleston area, in the U.S., and around the world.

Know Your Code!

Before you begin, take time to find the SIC and NAICS codes for your industry. The U.S. government developed these two code systems to group similar businesses together into industries that it can study. Business research publishers have borrowed these codes for their own use, so you’ll use both when conducting industry research.

The Standard Industrial Classification, or SIC code, was the first system used. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) unifies industry classification for the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It officially replaced the SIC code in 1997. You can search both the NAICS Code manual and the SIC Code online.


CCPL’s Online Resources

Business Source Premier

This powerful resource has hundreds of industry reports for the US and other countries. To browse them, click the Industry Reports link on the front page of the database. Business Source Premier also includes hundreds of scholarly journals, trade publications, newsletters, SWOT analyses, and more. To find them, do a keyword search for your industry, then use the options in the sidebar of the search results page to narrow down your results as needed. You will need to use a valid CCPL Library Card to access this resource.


Business Insights: Essentials

This source includes industry reports for each NAICS code. Use the Industry Essays section to browse or search by NAICS industry name. To search by SIC industry name, use Advanced Search and change search type to SIC. Reports vary in length but usually include an industry history, current conditions and the general outlook for the industry. You can also find articles from hundreds of trade journals, newspapers, and other periodicals here. Choose Advanced Search, enter the industry name in the Search Terms box, then limit your Content Type to “Journals.” You will need to use a valid CCPL Library Card to access this resource.


Encyclopedia of American Industries | Gale Virtual Reference Library

Contains detailed reports on every industry by SIC code. Entries include industry organization and structure, background, current conditions and more. You will need to use a valid CCPL Library Card to access this resource.


ReferenceUSA

ReferenceUSA is a comprehensive, flexible company and consumer directory with many applications for business research. The database includes eight modules with 24 million private and public companies and over 200 million US residents.

The business modules can help you gauge the state of an industry in any geographical area in the US. Depending on the module you choose, you can select from up to 40 search criteria to find names of businesses, business owners, addresses, business earnings and expenditures, and more. For example, use the Custom Search in the U.S. Businesses database to search for companies with the same NAICS or SIC codes in any neighborhood, city, county, MSA, ZIP code, etc. The Historical Businesses database can help you see how an industry has changed in an area during the past 10 years.

Results can be displayed as heat maps, charts, graphs, or lists. The Maps and Charts tools are especially useful because they help you visualize things like sales volume, employee size, and the locations of businesses in that industry. You can download your search results and import them into a spreadsheet for further analysis. Brief demo videos are available in Take A Tour section of the database. You will need to use a valid CCPL Library Card to access this resource.


Small Business Reference Center

This database has helpful industry reports from Datamonitor and other business research publishers. Choose the Industry Information by Small Business Type category to browse for the most popular industry reports. If your industry is not listed, use the Basic Search box to search for it by keyword. You will need to use a valid CCPL Library Card to access this resource.


Small Business Resource Center

SBRC makes it easy to locate industry information for small business uses. Use the Business Types and How To… buttons, or use the Search box to find articles, overviews, and directory information (including lists of trade associations) for most industries. You will need to use a valid CCPL Library Card to access this resource.


Websites

Book of Lists | Charleston Regional Business Journal

This annual supplement to our local business newspaper lists prominent local businesses in several different industries. A print edition is also available at some CCPL libraries. At the Main Library, this title is shelved at the Reference Desk.


County Business Patterns and ZIP Code Business Patterns | US Census Bureau

These products from the US Census Bureau allow you to search for industry information in smaller geographical areas. Data includes the number of establishments, number of employees, first quarter and annual payroll. Businesses can use the data for analyzing market potential, measuring the effectiveness of sales and advertising programs, setting sales quotas, and developing budgets.


Economic Census| US Census Bureau

Data from the most recent Economic Census is published here as it becomes available. Site also includes the Economic Census’ release schedule, the Industry Statistics Portal, Industry Snapshots and local area data.


EPA Compliance Assistance Centers | US EPA

Find sector specific compliance, sustainability and pollution prevention resources for many industries from the Environmental Protection Agency.


FedStats

One-stop access to the official statistics produced by the Federal government. Many government-generated statistics relate to different industries or lines of business. You’ll have to do some digging to unearth them from here, however, because they are arranged by agency, not subject. The document on the front page of the site, Statistical Programs of the United States Government may help you locate which agency collects statistics of interest to your industry.


Industry Statistics Portal | US Census Bureau

Locate industry statistics from the Census Bureau. Drill down to the most specific industry description listed for a treasure trove of statistics.


Market Facts | Charleston Regional Business Journal

This publication contains hard-to-find statistics and data about the Charleston area. It includes information on the following local sectors: real estate and construction; financial services; import, export, and distribution; hospitality and tourism; medical and health care. A print edition is also available at some CCPL libraries. At the Main Library, this title is shelved at the Reference Desk.


US Statistical Abstract | US Census Bureau

This statistical publication from the Census Bureau includes some information on industries. It is no longer updated online, but previous years’ data may still be useful. A print version of the Statistical Abstract is now published by ProQuest.


CCPL’s Books

Almanac of Business & Industrial Financial Ratios by Leo Troy

Call Number: 338.74 Almanac. Available at the Main Library in the Business section.


Encyclopedia of Global Industries prepared by the Gale editorial staff

Call Number: 338 Encyclop. Available at the Main Library in the Business section.


Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios edited by Dun & Bradstreet

Call Number: 338.5 Indus. Available at the Main Library in the Business section.


Industry Research Using the Economic Census: How to Find It, How to Use It by Jennifer C. Boettcher and Leonard M. Gaines

Call Number: 338 Boettche. Available at the Main Library in the Business section.


RMA Annual Statement Studies by the Risk Management Association

Call Number: 338.5 RMA. Available at the Main Library in the Business section.


Statistical Abstract of the United States by ProQuest

Call Number: 317.3 Stati. Available at the Main Library in the Reference section.


Additional titles may be found by searching our catalog.

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