The compendiums of best-selling list compiler Matthew Lesko contain more names and phone numbers than Warren Beatty's date books. But Lesko's lists pertain mostly to small business: you'll find information on agencies that give development assistance to expanding companies, economic reports that regional Federal Reserve banks will send you, government surplus-property auctions, whom to ask about overseas selling, how to find financial data on a company or franchisor, where to apply for research grants -- in sum, information on the offerings of nearly every federal, state, and local bureaucracy in the country.

Lesko's Info-Power, a 1,000-page five-pounder released last year, has now been incorporated into an easy-to-search one-ounce compact disk called Information USA (for IBMs or compatibles; requires CD-ROM unit; $149.95; call 800-955-7693). The disk also includes three earlier Lesko collections of interest to entrepreneurs.

Lesko claims the disk lists 689 sources for obtaining money, 466 sources of tax help, 320 sources of government contracts, and 424 sources of business advice, among other categories. If nothing else, taxpayers can't help being impressed with how much commercial sustenance Washington dispenses for free (or nearly free). -- Robert A. Mamis

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