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Business Leaders Speak Out About the Economic Census

The Economic Census is indispensable to understanding America's economy. It insures the accuracy of the statistics we rely on for sound economic policy and for successful business planning. Returning your economic census form helps us all." --Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors

"Sound and timely economic data are the fuel that powers economic decision making. Data are used by Congress, the Federal Reserve, regulatory agencies, and American businesses to formulate and evaluate fiscal, monetary, and regulatory policies and to develop business plans and financing strategies. Without sound economic data, policy makers in both the public and private sector would be flying blind.

Now, I know that the last thing businesses need is another form to fill out or questionnaire to answer, but the census data is not only important in its own right, but it is pivotal to the proper interpretation of a whole host of other statistics.

"I urge all American businesses to participate in the census and to provide complete and accurate data. American businesses and the American people will be the benefactors."--Thomas J. Donohue, President, United States Chamber of Commerce

"The current economic statistics that most people are familiar with, like retail sales and the Gross Domestic Product, all have their origins in the data that are collected in the 5-year economic censuses. So when we rely on, and others rely on, those current economic statistics, for policy decisions, they really are relying on the quality of the economic census data.

"We've been through periods where the stock market may go up or down, and the economy itself is still in good shape, and we find that information out from these economic reports. So decisions that are made on investment by individuals, by pension plans, and by companies, ultimately depend on the quality of the responses in the economic census." -- Robert Parker, Chief Statistician, Bureau of Economic Analysis

It used to be that a successful business could have a good product or a great product, and have mediocre marketing, mediocre competitive information, and still succeed, to some degree. But in today's environment, one must have great information in order to make good decisions, in order to remain competitive in an extremely competitive environment that we are operating in today.

The 1997 Economic Census is critical, in my opinion, not only to the policymakers, as it relates to national economic policy, policies that are set by the Federal reserve, as well as critical other economies around the globe, but also to even the smallest business or even the smallest restauranteur or the smallest entity in our economy.

In all of my experiences, whether that was running a single Burger King restaurant, whether that was running a system of over 500 Godfather's Pizza restaurants, or whether that was running a small corner grocery store, like my father ran at one point in his life, you need good information in order to be much more effective in terms of how you develop your business plans and how you compete. Herman Cain, CEO/President, National Restaurant Association

"The biggest complaint small business has is that nobody pays attention and nobody listens. This is our chance. If we all fill them out and we all send the data in, then the information that policy makers look at in Washington and at the State level will be information from small businesses -- that part of the economy that we think is the most vital and most important...

"Businesses can use these data to find out what's happening in their own markets. That will make our small businesses much more effective in serving consumers and growing and creating jobs. "-- William Dunkelberg, Chief Economist, National Federation of Independent Business

"Hard, reliable data are critical in evaluating where American business is and where it needs to go. This information is found in the Economic Census, a clear, understandable, document that has become indispensable to American industry.

It is my hope that manufacturing firms and businesses of every type will fill out their survey forms so that the Economic census can remain the invaluable tool it has become." -- Jerry J. Jasinowski, President, National Association of Manufacturers

"It's essential that we take part in the Economic Census. We live in a world where people make decisions based on fact. Both in the business world, and in Government. This is going to provide one of the best sources of data about what's going on in your industry and the industries you sell to, and in the regions around the country."-- C. Mark Dadd, Chief Economist, AT&T; President, National Association of Business Economists.

When the economic census form arrives, look at it as a valuable use of your time. That information will help all of us as a Nation perform more efficiently and probably more equitably. So, take the time, treat it as a real responsible act as a citizen, and you will benefit." -- Roger Brinner, Executive Director and Chief Economist, DRI-McGraw Hill

"Many, many forms show up in peoples' mailbox. This is probably the most important form that they're going to see in this statistical year...because this is an opportunity for them to record their existence in the economic census.

"The economic census, and the economic data that the census provides, is one of the great information bargains that is available both to the public and to business. Business often spends thousands of dollars, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, for information...and core of that information is what is provided for a nominal cost from the US Census Bureau." -- Gail Fosler, VP/Chief Economist, The Conference Board

The North American Industry Classification System "will make the data useful, more beneficial, more productive...and yield more fruitful results, in terms of understanding where business opportunities lie." -- Martin Fleming, Abt Associates

"There is just a wide variety of ways that these economic data come to play in businesses. They use these data in a number of ways. They them to decide where to locate a plant, or where to build a shopping center. They use them to figure out what the market demand is for their products, and how much they should produce."-- Maurine Haver, President, Haver Analytics.

We are looking forward to the 1997 Economic Census because it will give us another picture of the construction industry and its various components. We use that data to assess markets, to assess our potential, and to interpret our market share, and to validate our market share estimates.

The Economic Census information is very valuable to us because it helps us size the market. And therefore, since we know what our sales are, we can estimate our penetration of that particular market. Manuel Gutierrez, Manager-Market Research, Kohler Plumbing Fixtures

"The 1997 Economic Census is going to measure the US economy in a period of prosperity, in contrast to 1992 when economic conditions were a bit weaker. Businesses today are very interrelated to other sectors of the economy, and they don't understand those relationships very well. The information that's provided in the 1997 Economic Census will help them to better determine how their business is performing and where it's headed." -- Kermit Baker, Harvard University

"It is important for the builders to fill out the forms , and to provide this information, not only for the benefit of the industry and the builders themselves who could look at this later, but in order for Government policies to properly reflect the nature of the industries, in order for suppliers to be providing building materials and tools, in order for the labor supply to be educated and available for builders to use. And if the industry is a mystery, then we are not going to get the resources that we need." -- Michael Carliner, Vice President and Economist, National Association of Home Builders