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Government sending out 'economic census' forms

Dec 27, 2012 - By Mike Lambert

Question --"I have heard about some new 'economic census' coming up and that I am required to give information about my business to the government. What is this?"

-- Ben, Alpine

Answer -- About 11,000 Wyoming businesses will receive 2012 Economic Census forms from the U.S. Census Bureau during the next two months. This means that while many businesses will take part in the census, not all will be asked to participate.

If your company receives a form, you will be asked for basic operating data for the business and information that is tailored to the specific industry and company size. Information includes number of employees, payroll and value of goods or services produced in 2012. A business owner will be able to respond either in paper or online. Responses are due no later than Feb. 12. It is important to note that all information is confidential and compliance is required by law.

The census is the basis for the economic indicators that are used every day in the United States. Statistics from the economic census are used by businesses, local governments and investors to make smart decisions.

Without the economic census and the data it provides about the U.S. economy, businesses and governments of all sizes would be working in the dark in trying to solve the numerous challenges that the country and economy face in coming years. Filling out the form is not only a legal requirement, but it's also a smart investment in growing local, state and national economies.

To view information the census provides, go online to www.census.gov/econ/census/. The site gives more in-depth information about what the census is and why it is important for residents.

The economic census isn't new. In fact, the concept dates to 1810, when inquiries were made about manufacturing along with questions about population. The economic census provides detailed statistics that are important for industries and communities. Trade associations, chambers of commerce and businesses rely on the information for economic development, business decisions and strategic planning.

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Editor's note: Mike Lambert is Wyoming Market Research Center manager, part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, e-mail at wsbdc@uwyo.edu or call at 1-800-348-5194.

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