Blog | July 7, 2020

Illinois business owners, managers can help crucial Census efforts

New materials available for sharing with employees and customers, encouraging a “complete count”

In any project, the right tools can make an enormous difference.

With that in mind, and facing a project as important as the U.S. Census, ReadyNation has updated a set of simple materials for Illinois business owners and managers to use in helping provide an extra boost to “complete count” efforts. These include:

  • A backgrounder explaining the significance of the Census to local communities – and the importance of business leaders’ outreach to their employees and customers, urging participation.

  • Flyers that can be shared with those workers and customers, presented in two formats for ease of printing and distribution: one to a page and three to a page.

Your Census response can impact the next 10 years of growth for your area.

Jennifer Olson, President & CEO, Carbondale Chamber of Commerce

Increasingly, employers and managers see the value of encouraging Census engagement.

Jennifer Olson, President & CEO of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce
Jennifer Olson stands in front of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce

“When businesses are looking to relocate or expand, they study demographics sourced from the Census,” explains ReadyNation member Jennifer Olson, President & CEO of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce. “Business growth brings prosperity in both employment opportunities and tax revenue, which supports community services.”

And those services range from local schools, child care, health care, and transportation to fire protection, police and other emergency services – priorities that receive 10 years’ worth of federal funding based largely on Census statistics. Combined, such efforts represented about $56 billion in federal resources for Illinois during 2017, alone. Thus, an inaccurate head count risks a lot.

By early July, about two-thirds of Illinois households had “self-responded” to the Census, meaning they’d taken it either online, by phone, or by mail. All those options make Census completion particularly easy and safe during this COVID period of social-distancing. And while Illinois’ self-response rate is a great start, and several percentage points ahead of the national average – but still not where our state needs to be.

Most Census work is scheduled to wrap-up by November, meaning the coming weeks are crucial to ensuring the most accurate tally possible. These ReadyNation materials can help with spreading the word.

For more background and materials on business outreach and the 2020 U.S. Census, visit this ReadyNation page of resources.

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