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Small Business Research Tips: Trade Associations


Trade Associations exist for nearly every industry and can be valuable sources of information for new business owners and those doing industry research. Some trade associations offer continuing professional training and certifications, and many conduct market research, to keep their members up to date with industry data, reports and statistics.

National Association for the Specialty Food TradeNational Association for the Specialty Food TradeThey also provide a voice for an industry, making public policy statements and lobbying in the interests of their industry.

National Grocers AssociationNational Grocers AssociationTrade associations serve their members by keeping them informed about new developments, technology and equipment, and industry news on their organizational websites. Many also publish newsletters and trade journals online. (see the blog post on Trade Journals).


Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of AmericaManufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of AmericaA standard source to find trade associations is the Encyclopedia of Associations, available in most libraries. To find Associations from home or in the library, NYPL provides online access to the Encyclopedia of Associations.

From the NYPL Articles and Databases page select the Gale Directory Library, a collection of online Gale directories which may be accessed from home with a library card.

You can also use this link to select "Gale Directory Library."
Click "Advanced" along the top for search type.
Next, click to select "Encyclopedia of Associations-National"
Enter a word to describe an industry in the box, and click to Search.
Add more limits to narrow your results, by geography, for example, only if necessary.
If you want a broader set of results, just select the International or the Regional, State and Local editions of this directory.
If you don’t have an NYPL library card, you can try this website for a list of associations:

Trade Shows

Many trade associations sponsor professional conferences and "trade shows," where industry professionals and manufacturers exhibit new products and technology.

To find trade shows, try the "Gale Directory Library" as listed above,
click "Advanced" for search type, and select the
"Trade Shows Worldwide" Directory.

Next, Enter a word to describe the industry type and click to search for trade shows.

Tip: If you don’t have an NYPL card, you can also try this website:



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