Officials from the U.S. Census Bureau are asking local businesses to help them complete the 2022 Economic Census.
Conducted once every five years, the survey measures business and provides statistics at the national, state and local level. Economic Census Assistant Survey Director Staff Chief Bobby Nusz said the data collected sets important economic standards like the gross domestic product.
“This is the only comprehensive collection of economic statistics for the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Nusz said.
Invitations to respond were issued by mail beginning in late January, and the deadline for responses was March 15. Though all businesses with paid employees are required to respond, Nusz said data collection is ongoing. A follow-up invitation was issued last month and businesses can expect to receive another in their mailbox in early June.
“We want to try to make sure that we get the best collection that we can,” Nusz said.
Census Bureau Survey Statistician Lynda Lee said some business owners hesitate to respond to the survey for fear of being scammed. Respondents can visit census.gov and review the information on the page for the 2022 Economic Census to assuage those fears, Lee said.
Nusz emphasized that everyone who works with collected data, including local partners from the V.I. Bureau of Economic Research, takes an oath of confidentiality and all reported data is kept private. Once collected, the data is only reported in aggregate.