Area businesses are encouraged to participate in the Take 5 census initiative by providing employees with access to the internet, computers or tablets, and a five-minute break during their workday August 5, 2020, to complete the census form.
City of Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart came up with the Take 5 initiative and reached out to City of Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green, Grow Cedar Valley CEO Cary Darrah, and Brian Schoon of the Black Hawk County Complete Count Committee to partner on the project.
“Having businesses give employees online access and time to complete the census is one more way to reach the hard-to-count communities,” said Mayor Hart. “These communities are often underserved and in most need of the federal, state, and local funds allocated per census data to provide a safety net of services.”
Real-time response rates can be tracked online. As of July 27, the latest reporting date, 69.5% of Black Hawk County residents had responded, 57% of them online.
“Census data is used to allocate federal funds and determine fair representation in the U.S. Congress,” said Mayor Green. “By completing the census, all Black Hawk County residents can have a positive impact on our communities.”
Every household in Black Hawk County has received census information in the mail. There are multilingual options to complete the census by phone, mail, or online. It takes just a few minutes and responses are completely confidential. If one has lost the letter with the unique census I.D., participation is still possible by visiting 2020census.gov, or by phone.
Census data helps businesses project growth regions, identify skilled workforce, and assess valuable information on customers, including income level, household size, and home ownership status.
“Census data is important to our area businesses for community building and economic growth,” said Darrah. “We encourage Cedar Valley businesses to participate in the Take 5 program August 5 to help get their employees’ households counted. There are many other ways businesses can help between now and the Oct. 31 deadline to be counted, including opening their businesses to others in the community who need internet access and a computer or tablet to complete their forms.”
Participating businesses are encouraged to use the Take 5 logo as their Facebook profile picture and share pictures of employees completing their census forms on social media Aug. 5.
“Now is the time to stand up and be counted. Each and every one of us can make sure Black Hawk County gets its fair share of the $1.5 trillion in funding, from infrastructure to education and social services, as well as having fair government representation. These things directly benefit all of us, and every person counts,” said Schoon.
The decennial census is a count of every person in the United States every 10 years. Mandated by the U.S. Constitution since 1790, the census is administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. Results are used to determine each state’s representation in Congress and the distribution of more than $650 billion in federal funding for public education, public housing, roads and bridges, and more. For more information, see www.2020census.gov. For information specific to Black Hawk County, see www.youcount-bhc.com.