Mayor Michael A. Nutter joined Philadelphia elected officials last week at Brown’s Parkside Shoprite in West Philadelphia to underscore how an accurate census count impacts private sector investment decisions as well as the city’s ability to lure new business and job opportunities to underserved neighborhoods.
“I am confident that if every Philadelphian is counted in the 2010 Census, not only will we secure our fair share of federal resources for economic development, we will be able to attract more new businesses like Brown’s Shoprite in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Nutter.
Census data is used by businesses, large and small, in determining where to locate, when to expand, and what products customers want on the shelves. Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. warned that because the surrounding neighborhoods were lagging behind in terms of participation in the census, “we are only hurting ourselves.”
“The private sector, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, and hardware stores depend heavily on Census data,” Councilman Jones said. “Without it they cannot predict where a market or store should be and the products needed and desired in that community. Our communities deserve their rightful share, complete your census.”
Sandy Brown, Director of Public Relations at Brown’s Super Stores said, “The accurate accounting of all residents in Philadelphia is crucial to the growth and development of our communities. Full census information has the potential to attract more retail businesses like ShopRite to our city and its diverse neighborhoods. Proper population demographics and the other vital information the census brings to light, creates a better environment for businesses to secure financing and to open new retail stores. It is our hope that more companies will utilize the updated data and help communities flourish as a result of their growth, just as Brown’s has done.”
Congressman Chaka Fattah explained that starting May 1, census workers would be visiting the residences of every Philadelphian who did not return their census questionnaire. “For those Philadelphians who have not yet been counted in the 2010 Census, including many in West and North Philadelphia, that opportunity will come knocking soon. Census workers will visit those residents starting May 1 to make sure that Philadelphia gets a true count of residents who still haven’t responded, and we should welcome that visit,” Congressman Fattah said. “A true count means the city gets its fair share of federal resources. And good corporate citizens like Brown’s Family ShopRite look to the Census data to tell them where to find underserved markets within Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. We all win when we all get counted.”
“Our community’s participation in the census is too important to ignore. Its impact has far reaching implications for years to come,” said State Senator Vincent Hughes. “Each of us has in our hands, the power to influence the growth and progress of our communities. We need adequate representation in the halls of government, and we need access to high quality community assets such as job training centers, hospitals, schools, and retail complexes. We must take full advantage of everything the census has to offer. It’s that simple.”
“One of the biggest benefits of an accurate census is that it tells us where and who people are, as well as how many there are. And that’s important information not just for the government to have, but also for businesses and the community to have,” said State Representative Kathy Manderino. “Where do we need more grocery stores and day-care centers? Will the people visiting your business be senior citizens, young families or empty-nesters? Where does your business have the best chance to succeed? These are all questions that an accurate census can answer, and information that everyone, including businesses, can access.”
“Good census information is one of the best — and least expensive — ways for businesses to match what they offer with what the community around them needs,” State Representative Manderino added.
Jeff Brown, husband of Sandra Brown, is the founder, President and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores Inc and an active participant of Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFFI), a program that combines state and private money to improve access to healthy, affordable food and nutrition information. He was recognized during President Obama’s first State of the Union for his efforts to bring supermarkets to impoverished neighborhoods.