ULC is thrilled to debut a brand new tool — the Business Value Calculator — which will provide libraries with jet fuel for showcasing their value to the local economy. Libraries can begin to estimate the impact of their business services and learn new ways to communicate their economic value to city/county leaders, community partners and other local stakeholders.
Developed by ULC’s Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Action Team and inspired by St. Louis County Library’s Small Business Value Calculator, this new tool helps libraries concretely estimate the value they provide to their local business community. Using this calculator can help libraries of all sizes power-up their “elevator pitch” to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
In early 2022, ULC piloted the Business Value Calculator with 10 member libraries. The savings figures reported topped millions of dollars for a year of business services. These figures are sizable even as several library systems were forced to redesign service during the COVID-19 pandemic, losing the ability to offer co-working services or structured in-person programming and classes. Even with changes imposed by the pandemic, ULC member Pima County Public Library was able to provide over $1.3 million in value to their local business economy in 2021.
The Business Value Calculator is now available to all ULC library members as part of the ULC Member Hub.
Our local economies depend on the success of the entrepreneurs and small businesses in our communities, yet starting and growing a business is a major feat particularly for those who do not have ready access to start-up networks and resources. That’s where public libraries come in. Entrepreneurs can meet one-on-one with business experts, attend skill-building workshops, use valuable databases, access free Wi-Fi and technology, and use the library’s co-working spaces. ULC’s new Business Value Calculator enables the library to measure and evaluate its contributions to economic development.
Susan Benton, ULC President & CEO
Originally presented on January 18, 2022, this webinar enabled all ULC member libraries to learn about the Business Value Calculator — a new tool created to help libraries measure the impact of their business services and communicate their economic value to city/county leaders, community partners and other local stakeholders.
- Jennifer Gibson, Reference Manager, St. Louis County Library
- Betsey Suchanic, Senior Program Manager, Urban Libraries Council