The U.S. Census Bureau wants to know who resides in your house today!
Yes, today is National Census Day and by now we should all have received and, hopefully, completed and returned our 2010 Census Forms.
However, I think we can all safely assume that there are millions of stragglers out there who have either ignored or filed away the questionnaire – perhaps never to surface again (till a Census taker comes a knocking).
And that’s a shame – for business owners and communities alike. Because just by answering 10 simple questions, we can all directly affect the quality of life, services, and job creation in our communities.
Well, accurate census data directly impacts how much federal funding our communities receive (up to $400 billion is up for grabs annually) for hospitals, public works projects, schools, emergency services and more. The data collected also helps determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives – your voice in Congress!
Census data is also an essential tool for business owners who use the demographic and economic data gathered to make strategic and fiscally-sound decisions that can spur and sustain economic development and growth, such as selecting the location of retail stores or facilities, making informed marketing decisions, understand customer demographics, and more (see examples of Census-driven market data on Business.gov here).
Make Sure your Community is Counted – Sign up as a 2010 Census Business Partner
To ensure every community is counted in a timely and accurate manner, the U.S. Census Bureau is asking small businesses to join forces with other national, local and community-based organizations to voluntarily raise awareness and advocate the importance of the 2010 Census, with its 2010 Census Partner Program.
First introduced in 2000, the program recently signed up its 150,000th partner. In celebration of this accomplishment, Census Bureau Director, Robert M. Groves, explained: “These organizations are trusted voices in their communities, and the most important activity they can do as our partners is get the message out that the 2010 Census is easy, important and safe.” (Source)
The 2010 Census Partner Program – How does it Work?
So how does the Census Partner Program work? It’s quite simple really, and the scope of participation is really up to each individual business owner.
Activities can include displaying 2010 Census posters and fact sheets, organizing public events, creating and distributing literature on the importance of the census to thecommunity, hosting centers where people can get assistance in completing their forms, and inviting the participation of the Census Bureau in parades, festivals and other community events.
Partners can also use their Web sites, e-mail lists and social media accounts to spread the word. In fact the Census Bureau provides a range of downloadable email templates, Web banners (see right), and posters to make this a painless process.
What 2010 Census Partners Do and Don’t Do
There are a range of promotional and advocacy options that businesses can pursue to demonstrate their participation in the program – it’s really up to you. But, in the words of the U.S. Census Bureau, “…Census partners are not Census employees and have no responsibility for counting, collecting or processing census data.” Likewise, partners do not receive any federal funds to support their 2010 Census awareness activities.
How can my Organization become a 2010 Census Partner?
To become an official regional/local level 2010 Census partner, you can call the Census Bureau’s Regional Census Center [PDF] that serves your area. To become an official national level partner, email email@example.com.
- U.S. Census Bureau Partners Web Hub – About the program, registration information, and more.
- U.S Census Bureau Business Partnership – At a Glance Fact Sheet
- U.S. Census Business Partner Toolkit – This toolkit digs deeper into what steps you as a business owner can take to help raise awareness of the 2010 Census and outlines available resources to support your efforts.