Directions: Your Country is Counting on You

Directions: Your Country is Counting on You

There’s an important count underway. It’s the Economic Census — taken every five years — and is now in progress for 2007. This month, more than 4 million American businesses, including 140,000 automotive repair and maintenance businesses like yours, will receive 2007 Economic Census forms. This tally of businesses is important — just like the nation’s population census taken in 2000 — because it produces a portrait of business activities in industries and communities all across our nation.

What’s more, economic indicators that the automotive aftermarket industry uses every day — like the Gross Domestic Product, monthly retail sales and producer price index — all depend on the Economic Census for continued accuracy.

But this information is not just for government planners. It is also used by businesses in your own community — both large and small. National firms use the information to decide where to locate a factory, store or office. Local businesses will use the data to develop their marketing and sales strategies and evaluate expansion opportunities. Facts and figures from the Economic Census will provide the foundation for start-up businesses developing business plans and seeking loans.

In fact, you may even want to use the statistics and business information — available for free on the Internet at www.business.census.gov — for your own shop’s expansion or relocation.

And, don’t worry, your shop’s responses are kept confidential and protected by federal law — Title 13, United States Code.

So, who is receiving the survey? Economic Census forms are sent to all but the smallest businesses in every industry and geographic area of the U.S. Most businesses with five or more paid employees, and a sample of smaller ones, will receive a census form. And, to reduce the burden on American businesses, the Census Bureau does not send Economic Census forms to most “very small” firms. For companies and shops with more than one location, all forms are sent to the company headquarters. So, if yours is among the more than 4 million businesses that receive an Economic Census form in December — fill it out. Send it in. America needs your numbers.

Remember, responses to the questionnaire are required by law and are to be returned by Feb. 12, 2008.

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