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Business climbing aboard 'census day of action' set for Friday

State officials want businesses to allow 10 minutes for employees to fill out the census form to ensure a complete count this Friday July 10, at 10 a.m.

HARTFORD, Conn — At a time when tax revenue has taken a plunge, the state is more eager than ever to make sure they get every dollar they can from the federal government when it comes to the census.

"The roads that people drive on to get to work are built and improved based on census figures," said Lt. Gov Susan Bysiewicz.

Bysiewicz has been spearheading CT’s census efforts from the get-go.

"We will be doing this for state government as well. This is another one of our public private partnerships," she said.

Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz and Gov. Lamont are calling for a census day of action.

They want business this Friday July 10th, at 10AM, for 10 minutes to allow employees to fill out the census form to ensure a complete count.

"You just don’t ask people to fill out the census it’s a little bit like a COVID test you have to go to where people are. You’ve got to convince them why it’s important there’s some reluctance, maybe it’s a language barrier," explained Gov. Ned Lamont.

155 complete count committees have fanned out across the state.

They are door knocking amid the pandemic to reach residents in communities like Hartford where the response rate is only 41%.

Census data is used by the federal government to determine how much money states get for programs like Medicare, food and energy assistance and pell grants.

"So that over the next 10 years we are ensuring ourselves our fair share of the billions and billions in federal resources that come into the state that trickle down to the communities," said Jay Williams, the CEO of The Hartford Foundation.

With a deadline of October 31st, so far just over 65% of CT households have filled out the census.

That is better than all other states in the Northeast.

But it falls short of the 2010 census response rate of 69.5%. The pandemic makes things more challenging.

Joe Brennan, the CEO of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association said, "With so many people working at home we just have to make sure we get the word out so even if you aren’t in the workplace you can still take that 10 minutes to fill your form out."

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