In December 2007, more than 4 million American businesses received 2007 economic census forms, including 130,000 construction businesses, underscoring the importance of their participation in the nation’s most comprehensive measure of business and industry taken every five years.

“Economic census forms that businesses received in December will tell us how we are changing as a nation,” said Thomas Mesenbourg Jr., the Census Bureau’s associate director for economic programs. “Important economic indicators, such as gross domestic product, are directly related to the quality of the data we get from businesses in every industry and every locality.”

The Census Bureau has launched a new Web site—www.business.census.gov—to help businesses understand the economic census and how it benefits them. The site includes economic snapshots of selected industries and significant facts about every industry.

“The economic census affects every American who runs a business, saves for retirement or takes out a mortgage on a home,” said Steve Landefield, director of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Economic census data provide the hard figures that businesses need when they consider expanding into new regions or markets.

“I’m constantly advising entrepreneurs to consult economic census information before making decisions,” said Rhonda Abrams, small business adviser and syndicated columnist. “It helps business people make informed decisions.”

Businesses can look at benchmark values from the economic census to assess where they stand in the marketplace and to research market shares, salaries, product and sales trends, and site locations.

Businesses in more than 1,000 industries received forms in December 2007. If your electrical contracting firm received one, you are required by law to complete and respond by Feb. 12, 2008. For the rest of you, this is a good chance to see how your company compares to the rest of the industry.  EC