In December, more than 4 million American businesses will receive 2007 Economic Census forms, underscoring the importance of their participation in the nation’s most comprehensive measure of business and industry taken every five years.
“Economic census forms that businesses receive in December will tell us how we are changing as a nation,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, Jr., the Census Bureau’s associate director for economic programs. “Important economic indicators, such as gross domestic product, are directly related to the quality of the data we get from businesses in every industry and every locality.”
The Census Bureau has launched a new Web site — www.business.census.gov — to help businesses understand the economic census and how it benefits them. The site includes economic snapshots of selected industries and significant facts about every industry.
Economic census data provide the hard figures that businesses need when they consider expanding into new regions or markets.
I’m constantly advising entrepreneurs to consult economic census information before making decisions,” said Rhonda Abrams, small business adviser and syndicated columnist. “It helps business people make informed decisions.”
Businesses can look at benchmark values from the economic census to assess where they stand in the marketplace and to research market shares, salaries, product and sales trends, and site locations.
Firms in more than 1,000 industries will receive forms in December. They will be asked to report information such as employment, payroll and the value of goods and services sold. Forms must be returned to the U.S. Census Bureau by Feb. 12, 2008. Businesses that receive forms are required by federal law to respond. Information about individual firms is kept confidential, and only aggregate industry data are published.
For businesses that would like to get a head start on preparing for the census, the new web site — www.business.census.gov — provides links to sample forms, answers to frequently asked questions and a secure way to communicate directly with the Census Bureau. The site also has tips to help businesses use the data.