The market-research budget is often among the first to get trimmed when growing companies suffer a cash crunch. Now, there's a way to fill at least some of the gap -- and cheaply.

A service called Market-search lists more than 18,000 research studies on U.S. and foreign markets by business and industry professionals, consultants, and entrepreneurs. Some of the surveys, which were released within the past five years and cover everything from ammunition to zippers, sell for less than $100.

Subscribers to Market-search pay $195 a year and receive the annual directory, a midyear supplement listing new studies, and access to a hot line providing up-to-the-minute data on recently released surveys. Look for it at a business library or write to: Marketsearch, P.O. Box 5228, Evanston IL 60204.

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