Complete Census data drives job and business growth

UPPER CUMBERLAND – An entrepreneur in Crossville is weighing whether to open a new restaurant. A national chain headquartered in Cookeville is making regional hiring plans. And a store in Sparta is deciding how to stock its shelves.  

All three businesses have one thing in common: They can use U.S. Census Bureau statistics to help guide their decision. 

When planning a new business or deciding whether to hire more staff, entrepreneurs and big chains alike must answer key questions. 

Among them: Who are my potential customers? How many live in the area? How many similar businesses are already operating nearby? How much are those competitors paying their employees? 

“Our data get used extensively,” said Andrew Hait, a Census Bureau economist. “The American Community Survey and the decennial census — both are critical resources.” 

That’s why it’s important to encourage your employees and community to respond to the 2020 Census. Complete census data could lead to more jobs and new businesses in the Upper Cumberland Region. Businesses use population statistics to help decide where to add jobs or open new stores, offices or other businesses in communities across the country. 

The availability of census statistics to private businesses is just one of the benefits of the 2020 Census, which aims to count everyone who lives in the United States. 

State, local and federal government officials will use 2020 Census statistics to determine how to allocate and spend billions of dollars annually for critical public services, including hospitals, schools, roads and bridges, which in turn will generate opportunities for private sector businesses. 

The Census Bureau encourages businesses to make use of the wide variety of census statistics available.

One major Census Bureau resource for businesses is the Economic Census. Conducted every five years, the economic census collects extensive data about nearly four million businesses across most industries and all geographic regions of the United States.

In addition, the Census Business Builder, a suite of free online tools available on census.gov, allows business owners and analysts to explore local statistics — ranging from consumer spending to new building permits — so they can identify new office locations, stock shelves and more.

Business owners also use the information to determine how best to serve their customers. A big-box superstore in a community full of young families, for example, is more likely to showcase diapers on prominent shelves in its aisles than one in a community where most of the population is age 65 or older. 

Those local community statistics are available thanks to the census. 

“Over 100,000 businesses are opened every year, and almost 100,000 businesses close every year, in the U.S.,” Hait said, adding that many of those that fail probably didn’t do their homework.  

Census Bureau data can help entrepreneurs do their homework — and then some. 

In order for this important information to be available, residents must respond to the 2020 Census. It is quick and easy, taking less than ten minutes for most households. It’s private and secure – census responses are protected by federal law and cannot be shared with any other government agency.

Please encourage your employees, friends and community to respond now online at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or in writing using the questionnaire they received in the mail.

Michelle Price is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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