More than four million American businesses, including 740,000 retailers, are receiving 2012 Economic Census forms in November and December. The census is going to all but the very smallest businesses, and those that do receive forms are required by law (Title 13, U.S. Code) to respond by February 12, 2013. The forms ask for basic information such as location, employment, payroll, and sales by type of product or service.
Timely and accurate information is vital to effective public policy, and Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, calls this census, “indispensable to understanding America’s economy.” Taken every five years, Bernanke says the Economic Census, “assures the accuracy of the statistics we rely on for sound economic policy, and for successful business planning.” The Economic Census develops a comprehensive portrait of American business, from the national to the local level. There are many interesting facts about independent retailers from the last Economic Census, available at business.census.gov. Examples on the website illustrate how Census Bureau economic statistics are used by local businesses for marketing and planning, as well as by government agencies and researchers. Watch for and return your Economic Census Form before February 12, 2013.