There’s an important count underway. It’s the Economic Census, taken every five years, and now under way for 2007.

The Economic Census is a tally of businesses — and it’s important, just like the nation’s population census taken in 2000. The Economic Census produces a portrait of business activities in industries and communities all across our nation.

Businesses, communities, and governments use Economic Census data for planning and market development. Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve, calls the Economic Census “indispensable to understanding America’s economy.”

What’s more, economic indicators we use 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 — 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.

Best of all, the Economic Census is a real bargain. All of the statistics are available for free on the Internet for you to use (

This year an estimated 470 businesses in Halifax County will receive the Economic Census form in December.

So, if yours is among the more than 4 million businesses that receive an Economic Census form— please fill it out and send it in.

America needs your numbers.