Why the Census is So Critical For Riverside Businesses

Published: 05/12/2020

 the Census is Critical For Riverside Businesses 


The Inland Empire is home to over 4 million people and the City of Riverside is one of the fastest growing cities in Riverside County. So why should local businesses worry about the 2020 census? Simple: under-representation hurts the economy. It is estimated our region lost 1 billion dollars over the last ten years because of undercounting during the 2010 census. That’s 1 billion dollars lost in public and private investment vital to a competitive economy. This inequity meant less funding for public health, schools, small businesses, non-profits, transportation, and infrastructure. The undercounting also deprived our region of critical private investment opportunities as lenders, realtors, and businesses used less reliable data to make decisions about Inland Southern California.

Why is this important to my business?

  • Businesses use census data for targeting customers, opening and expanding their operations. Their customers and suppliers rely on census data as well.
  • Federal, state and local governments rely on the census to set strategies for economic growth and funding. Up to $1.5 trillion is dispersed to local and state jurisdictions based on census data.
  • Census population data guides government representation, determining the voice of the Inland Region in state policy that affects our economy.
  • In times of crisis, accurate census data helps emergency preparedness by determining proper allocation of critical supplies, deployment of first responders, high quality medical facilities, and a ready healthcare workforce.

The impact of the current census will be a major factor in defining the economy of the Inland Empire through 2030. All businesses have a key role to play by encouraging customers, employees and the general public to complete their census questionnaires. Your trusted voice can have a great impact.

5 Ways Your Business Can Support the Census

  • Educate your employees: host a workshop with your company’s leaders, employees, and influential partners to encourage participation
  • Share the message: use posters, fliers, social media, messages on receipts or shipping containers; post information, videos and a link to the official 2020 Census web page on your company website
  • Get creative: offer incentives for employees and promotions for customers that encourage participation while marketing your business
  • Join the National Business Network for an Accurate Census: it’s free, virtual and private
  • Become a U.S. Census Bureau Partner: The U.S. Census Bureau provides an array of free support and materials to help companies and business membership organizations encourage their employees, customers and the general public to complete their census questionnaires.

There is not a better time than now to come together and be counted. Without an accurate census, the Inland Empire could face 10 more years of inequity: stunting our potential with underfunding and under-representation. The collective strength of our workforce, businesses, entrepreneurs and our student population deserves an accurate census. For more ways your business can make a difference, check out the Council for a Strong America :Business Counts.