Archive for the ‘Trade Data’ Category

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U.S. Exporters Poised to Capitalize on Global Demand for Smart Grid Products and Services

June 29, 2017

By Vickie Gunderson, Smart Grid Analyst

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

The average number of Internet-connected devices per household is expected to increase five-fold by 2022, leading to potentially over 50 billion connected devices by 2025.  As more devices are connected to the Internet– in our homes, offices, and manufacturing facilities – it is becoming increasing more critical that people have access to reliable, secure, affordable, and clean electricity to power them.  And U.S. firms that provide the products and services to meet these grid modernization needs are seeing increased global interest.

Earlier this year, we released an Update to the 2016 Smart Grid Top Markets Report. These articles offer detailed analysis of the near-term growth potential for U.S. exporters of smart grid products and services overall and for three sub-sectors:  transmission and distribution (T&D) equipment, smart grid information communications technologies (ICT), and energy storage.  The Update expanded the number of ranked international markets for U.S. exporters from 34 to 50 markets and ranks them according to opportunities.

Across the suite of sub-sectors, U.S. exporters remain global leaders. Deployment of these advanced technologies across the United States to modernize our grid is serving as a global test bed for these disruptive technologies. Nowhere is this more apparent than for energy storage systems.

Today, the United States is one of the global leaders in deployment of energy storage with more than 200 battery projects totally over 400 MW added to the system and remains the world leader for testing innovative policy, regulatory, and business models. However, projects are being deployed across the globe with global deployment of energy storage expected to increase seven fold over the next five years.  This presents a key export opportunity for U.S. manufacturers and service providers.

Over the last eight years, the costs of grid-scale battery energy storage has decreased ten fold. These types of cost reductions are driving the deployment of a wide range of energy storage systems in the United States and around the globe and enabling electric utilities to store electrons (electricity) to provide power when it is needed and help steady the 24/7 need to balance the generation and the demand for electricity.

As a result, the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (TPCC-REEE), and the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Energy are leading an interagency effort to enhance services and programs to support U.S. competiveness in a range of sub-sectors across this diverse industry – including for energy storage.

In the  2016 Smart Grid Top Markets report, the Department of Commerce included dedicated analysis on energy storage to increase market intelligence for U.S. exporters, and our January 2017 Update included the first sub-sector rankings for energy storage exporters. Additionally, at DistribuTECH 2017, under the International Buyer Program, the Department of Commerce led delegations totaling more than 400 foreign buyers to facilitate meetings with U.S. energy storage and smart grid companies, as well as interact with U.S. utilities who have successfully deployed these products domestically.

Further recognizing the link between technology deployment and regulatory barriers, we have engaged in a series of market-specific activities. At the third U.S.-India Smart Grid Workshop in New Delhi,I participated in public-private discussions on the challenges to smart grid technology deployment in India. We also held discussions on communications networks for electric utilities in Brazil under our partnership with the Utilities Technologies Council through our Market Development Cooperator Program, and later this year (October 31-November 2), we will be leading a delegation of U.S. firms to Toronto and Calgary for the Renewable Energy Integration Trade Mission.

And this is just the beginning! Stay tuned for upcoming events related to global smart grid opportunities, and a full update to the Smart Grid Top Market Report later this fall. Sign up for our Global Energy Team newsletter to stay in the know!

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Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Reaching New Markets

May 1, 2017

Natalie Soroka is an Economist in the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis

Top SME Exporter Markets, 2015. Mexico $75.7 billion, Canada $52.9 billion, China $33.8 billion, Japan $20.3 billion, United Kingdom $19.8 billion.As we kick off Small Business Week, the Census Bureau released its “Profile of U.S. Importing and Exporting Companies, 2014-2015.” A joint project of the Census Bureau and International Trade Administration, this series details the characteristics of U.S. companies that imported or exported goods in 2014 and 2015, including information on company size, industry, geographic composition, and trading partners. When we look at the trade data, small and medium sized enterprises play a huge role in economic growth and job creation.

In 2015, nearly 408,000 companies in the United States traded goods internationally, with nearly 295,000 companies exporting goods and almost 197,000 companies importing goods from abroad. The majority of these companies were “small and medium-sized enterprises,” or SMEs, with fewer than 500 employees. In 2015, SMEs accounted for 98 percent of goods exporters and 97 percent of goods importers. However, in terms of known dollar value, large companies account for a larger share of trade, with SMEs only accounting for about a third of U.S. goods trade.

In 2015, the value of “known” U.S. goods exports (export transactions that can be linked to a specific exporter) fell by 7.7 percent from the prior year, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the number of goods exporters in 2015 was also lower than 2014, falling by 3.4 percent. This drop is attributed to fewer small company exporters with fewer than 100 employees, as the number of medium-sized (250-499 employees) and large exporters increased slightly.

With regard to markets, the number of exporters selling goods to Canada decreased the most, with most of those losses being very small companies with fewer than 20 employees. However, large firms accounted for most of the decrease in known export value to Canada. SME exports increased to several of the top 25 U.S. markets: Belgium, Switzerland, India, and Chile. While overall exports to most of these partners fell, higher exports from SMEs to India offset lower exports from large companies to result in an overall increase in U.S. known goods exports to India in 2015. The value of exports from large companies rose to the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Germany.

While many companies solely export or solely import, about a fifth of these companies engage in both directions of trade, exporting and importing merchandise. These companies are also responsible for the majority of the known trade value, accounting for 85 percent of known goods exports and 93 percent of known goods imports in 2015.

Similarly, while most companies only engage with one trading partner, those companies selling to partners in multiple countries account for most of exports, by value. For example, the 7 percent of SMEs who exported to 10 or more countries in 2015, accounted for more than half of total SME export value. This is even truer for large companies, where the 44 percent of large companies that exported to 10 or more countries accounted for 96 percent of the overall value of exports from large firms.

The data in this report show that many small and medium-sized companies could expand their export sales to additional markets. The International Trade Administration offers many services to help U.S. companies begin exporting or increase their sales. Businesses of any size can contact their nearest Export Assistance Center to find out more about our programs and resources.

For more information regarding U.S. importers and exporters in 2015, see ITA’s fact sheet or read the full Profile.

Join us in the conversation on social media using #SmallBusinessWeek. Tag us on Twitter using @TradeGov and share the success of your small business.

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U.S. Businesses in Metro Areas are Tapping into Markets Abroad

September 14, 2016

Ken Hyatt is the Acting Under Secretary for the International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

Now more than ever, U.S. businesses know how important it is to take advantage of export opportunities around the world. From coast to coast, businesses are selling their world-class goods to the more than 95 percent of potential customers who live outside our borders. The 2015 Metropolitan Area Export Overview  is a clear indicator of this movement, as many cities have increased exports or even set records. And along with the nation’s largest metropolitan areas sending out more American goods, many smaller areas have also set trade records.

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2015 Metro Exports

Now to the numbers: U.S. metropolitan area goods exports exceeded 1.3 trillion in 2015, and accounted for 89 percent of goods exported from the United States. There were 156 metro areas that exported more than $1 billion of goods to consumers around the world. There were 14 metro areas that exported more than $20 billion of goods in 2015.

Let’s look at a couple examples: Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington; and El Paso Texas, both of which set records in 2015, have experienced impressive growth from 2009 to 2015. The Seattle area was ranked in the top five for 2015, while El Paso, Texas ranked in the top 20.

El Paso registered double-digit export growth in 2015, shipping $24 billion in goods abroad. El Paso has made impressive increases since 2009; this year representing a 22 percent increase from 2014, and a 217 percent increase from 2009. The city’s largest export goods categories included computers and electronic products; electrical equipment, appliances; and transportation equipment. Exceptionally, El Paso area sent 93.5 percent of its goods exported to markets where the United States has trade agreements enforced.

The Seattle area sent more than 25 percent of its goods exports to markets where the United States has trade agreements. Their exporting categories ranged from transportation equipment to computer & electronic products to fishing, hunting, and trapping goods.

It’s clear that both Seattle and El Paso, among the nation’s many metro areas, large and small, are making developments towards a more globalized market.

The Department of Commerce and the Obama Administration continue to focus on supporting U.S. jobs and raising wages. This includes efforts to sign high-standard agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Accessibility for U.S. exporters to the largest and most competitive markets has become top priority over the duration of the Administration. In fact, markets with Free Trade Agreements in force accounted for more than half of the total goods exports for 195 metropolitan areas.

For more information on the contributions of metro areas to U.S. exports, download your free copy of fact sheets for the top 50 exporting metro areas.

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Mexico’s Release of its National Cluster Map: a Testament to the Strength of the U.S.-Mexico Partnership

July 28, 2016

Leslie Wilson is the Mexico Desk Officer for the U.S. Department of Commerce

A neighbor, an ally, and our third-largest trading partner: Mexico – and its relationship with the U.S. – has never been more important. As part of the ongoing work to reinforce that relationship, Mexico has published a new and innovative National Cluster Map, which identifies areas for investment and job creation and enhances regional economic development between the United States and Mexico.

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Mexico-US flag

On July 22, 2016, in conjunction with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s visit to Washington, D.C., the Mexican government released the map as a free, open website available to the public around the world. During his visit, President Peña Nieto met with U.S. President Barack Obama and Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, among others, to discuss ways to continue strengthening the U.S.-Mexico relationship. For example, as Mexico is the United States’ third largest trading partner, $1.5 billion in trade crosses our border every day.

The site, a key milestone of both governments’ efforts to increase North American competitiveness, is a component of the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED). Through the HLED, the Innovation Cluster Subcommittee of the Mexico-U.S. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council (MUSEIC) – in collaboration with Mexico’s National Entrepreneurship Institute (INADEM) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and International Trade Administration (ITA) – has worked to develop binational, compatible cluster maps that identify geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, suppliers, service providers, and associated institutions that are present in the United States and Mexico.

The U.S. and Mexican maps can be used to enhance regional economic development by identifying an area’s assets and creating important connections between the public and private sectors. They can also be used by innovators working in similar sectors and spaces to share best practices, identify opportunities for public investment, and serve as a framework for understanding drivers of private investment and job creation.

Cluster Mapping as a Tool for Regional Integration                                     

According to U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams, “The Mexico National Cluster Map is essential for understanding the competitive landscape of North America and facilitating regional collaboration. The U.S. and Mexican maps will help regions work together to capitalize on assets and discuss best practices in economic development, policy, and innovation.”

To further the goal of regional integration, President Obama, President Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to establishing a broader North American Cluster Map at the most recent North American Leaders’ Summit held in June to best display synergies among the major regional economies. The development of Canada’s cluster map will be the next step in achieving this goal.

EDA, in partnership with Harvard University, runs the U.S. Cluster Mapping website, which offers a member directory that profiles cluster initiatives throughout the country and provides statistical and visual data that assess business environment characteristics.

How Mexico Created Its Map

Mexico’s cluster map was developed by Mexico’s Statistics Agency (INEGI) based on 2014 census data, the latest cluster definitions  by Michael Porter, Scott Stern, and Mercedes Delgado (also used in the U.S. map) and the location quotients of the country’s 32 states. It combines the Porter, Stern, and Delgado methodology using employment and occupation data, and the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Innovation (Tec de Monterrey) methodology adopted by INADEM to identify strategic sectors in Mexico. Mexico has undertaken a data alignment and cluster definition matching exercise so the data can be used and analyzed in a binational fashion, ensuring the compatibility of the information provided in the U.S. and Mexican maps.

“Mexico has convened key stakeholders of government, academia, and private industry to develop its Cluster Map and a global strategy for Cluster Development,” said Enrique Jacob, President of INADEM. “The map helps to identify smart specializations, promote private industry investment, support new public policies in innovation, and foster global value chains.”

Dynamic initiatives such as the U.S.-Mexico binational cluster mapping project offer a powerful knowledge-based tool that can generate clear, positive outcomes for government, industry, academia, civil society, and entrepreneurs. Specifically, the U.S and Mexican cluster maps provide reliable data essential to foster regional and global value chains, support investment decisions, and enforce data-oriented public policy. In fact, a full 40 percent of the content of Mexican exports is comprised of U.S. inputs. This means that of all the products Americans purchase that are manufactured in Mexico, about 40 percent of those products’ value-added components are made here in the United States. This reflects the highly integrated nature of our bilateral value chains.

The compatibility of the U.S. and Mexican maps is also a critical step toward the development of cross-border  economic development strategies that can help drive the sustainable, long-term economic vitality of urban and rural communities along the U.S.-Mexico border.  And most importantly, these maps underscore the importance of using innovative tools to best leverage our connections to create jobs in both countries and across the region.

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ITA Releases Smart Cities Guide

July 14, 2016

Vinay Vijay Singh, Senior Advisor, Global Markets, Urbanization & Infrastructure

A successful economy lays the foundation for a successful city, but the city must be able to keep up with an evolving economy to maintain overall success. Global trends show the world is spending far less on infrastructure than is required to contend with the rapid pace of economic development. A Smart Cities movement has risen to address the forces of urbanization around the world.  The International Trade Administration’s (ITA) newly released Smart Cities, Regions & Communities Export Opportunities Guide highlights potential business opportunities for U.S. companies along with insights from other Commerce bureaus.

City

The Smart Cities initiative was created to target federal resources to meet the needs of local communities.

Cities have been the center for commerce since bartering and trade first began. Smart Cities is a development mission aiming to monitor and promote urban sustainability, environmental cleanliness, citizen engagement, governance and critical needs in education and healthcare. The growth of a city places demand on its municipal government to address urban challenges in sectors such as water, energy, transportation and connectivity. Each of these industries represents opportunities to foster business partnerships and bolster prosperity.

The recent $160 million investment in federal research by the White House is aimed to help local communities establish solutions to key problems faced, including traffic congestion, fueling economic growth, managing effects from climate change, fighting crime and improvement of city delivery systems. This initiative is part of the President’s commitment to target federal resources to meet local needs and by providing leadership at a national level, this initiative is just one example of a Smart Cities vision and a huge business opportunity. The ITA continues the Obama Administration’s level of engagement by offering The Smart Cities Guide as another tool for U.S. companies to help make these connections and further expand their global export solutions.

The Smart Cities Guide incorporates Department of Commerce intra-agency smart city initiatives by combining in-depth information for export opportunities into four main categories: Access to Capital, Trade Promotion, Industry Sectors and Internet of Things (IoT). Many bureaus in Commerce are lending their thought leadership to help U.S. cities and businesses find unique solutions to global urbanization issues. ITA’s primary focus in the Guide is to serve as a trade promotion resource for U.S. companies looking to interface with local partners and government officials in markets with export opportunities.

This is the first edition of The Smart Cities Guide and as the U.S. government synthesizes its efforts to continue to elevate U.S. industry leading capabilities in this space, the ITA will look to publish its second edition later this year.  Come join our global teams at Discover Global Markets: Building Smart Cities in Chicago, November 1-3, 2016, to further explore opportunities in the smart city space.  For more information on the U.S. government smart city initiatives or services offered by the ITA, please email the team at smartcities@trade.gov and follow me @SmartCitySingh.

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Jobs Supported by Exports 2014: Product and Industry

July 13, 2016

Chris Rasmussen, a Senior International Economist in the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, is the Team Lead for Quantitative Analysis and the author of several publications on jobs supported by exports.

The International Trade Administration has released a report detailing the jobs supported by exports by specific product and also within individual industries. This report joins earlier work estimating total U.S. jobs supported by exports, jobs supported by state goods exports, and jobs supported by exports by destination.

When thinking about the relationship between exports and jobs the natural tendency is to focus on the workers employed in the industry that produces the final product that is exported.  For example, a statistic for U.S. exports of chemical products may conjure up images of workers employed in chemical plants wearing hardhats and other protective gear.

However, products are not produced in isolation from beginning to end in a single industry, with the production of any product generally requiring the use of inputs from other industries.   As a result of these interrelationships between industries in the production process, the export of a product will impact employment in multiple industries in addition to the industry that produced the export.

In the chemical products example, the production and export of those products will not only affect employment in the chemical industry but also employment in industries such as petroleum and coal products, transportation and other services whose products are used by the chemical industry.

By the same token, production and employment in the chemical industry will be impacted not only by the export of chemical products but also by the export of agricultural products and products made of plastic and rubber that use products from the chemical industry as inputs in their production.

This report uses data capturing these interrelationships to look at the impact of exports on employment throughout the supply chain.  This report finds that as a group, manufacturing industries have the highest share, 26 percent, of their employment supported by exports. The report further finds that although 59 percent of all export-supported jobs are supported by the export of goods, 68 percent of all export-supported jobs are jobs located within service industries.  In fact, the report indicates that for every job within manufacturing industries supported by the export of manufactured products there is there is also a job supported in service industries by the export of those manufactured products.

To read the entire report and other jobs-supported by exports materials, visit the OTEA website: http://www.trade.gov/mas/ian/employment.

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Just in Time for Hannover: Seven Top Markets Reports Released

April 14, 2016

Marcus Jadotte is ITA’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Analysis.

Earlier today, the International Trade Administration (ITA) released seven new Top Markets Reports to provide the latest assessment of export opportunities for U.S. companies that attend the world’s largest annual trade show for industrial technology: Hannover Messe 2016.

The Top Markets series is a collection of sector-specific reports that are designed to help U.S. exporters compare markets across borders, using market intelligence and data to inform decision-making. Providing new market intelligence, the reports related to the Hannover Messe pavilions and themes are:

Each Top Markets Report includes commentary on opportunities, trends, and challenges facing U.S. exporters in the largest potential markets. The reports combine the unique expertise of ITA’s sector leads in Industry & Analysis with economic data and the views of our staff stationed around the world. In addition to these seven new reports, more than a dozen other sector-specific reports are currently available on our top markets webpage. .New versions of these reports will be released later this year. The Top Markets Reports released today provide valuable market intelligence about future export opportunities, including Germany. Germany is ranked as a top 10 export market for industrial automation, manufacturing technology, cloud computing, aircraft parts, and automotive parts. Each of these reports has a separate case study devoted to the opportunities and challenges of exporting to Germany.

We hope you find these tools beneficial as you prepare for Hannover Messe. Once at the fair, our sector and country experts, including many of the authors of these reports, will be on the ground ready to speak with you about this market intelligence and connect you with buyer delegations and foreign attendees.

For the first time in the trade show’s history, the United States is the Partner Country at Hannover Messe. The more than 425 companies, economic development organizations, and U.S. universities, comprise the largest U.S. exhibitor delegation to Hannover. The show, which takes place April 25-29, 2016, typically hosts more than 200,000 attendees from 70 countries, and more than 2,500 members of the media. President Obama will be the first sitting U.S. President to participate in Hannover Messe, proving that support for the event comes from the highest levels of our government. We look forward to seeing you in two weeks!

Note: ITA will live tweet from the event. Follow us @TradeGov and join the conversation using #HM16USA.

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Jobs Supported by Exports 2015: An Update

April 8, 2016

Ellen Hughes-Cromwick is Chief Economist for the Department of Commerce 

Today, the International Trade Administration released its report titled “Jobs Supported by Exports 2015: An Update”, which found that the number of U.S. jobs supported by exports declined slightly in the face of significant headwinds from the global economic growth slowdown overseas.

However, exports continued to play an important role in supporting employment in the United States in 2015. Exports supported an estimated 11.5 million jobs in 2015, down less than 50,000 from the nearly 11.6 million jobs supported by exports in 2014.

Despite the decrease in export-supported employment last year, the number of jobs supported by exports is up 1.9 million since 2009, an increase of 19.8 percent.  The modest decline in export-related employment was largely associated with the decline in goods exports.  The BEA reported that in 2015, current dollar exports of goods and services fell slightly – from $2.34 trillion in 2014, to $2.22 trillion in 2015. However, employment related to services exports ticked up, increasing by more than 2,000 jobs as compared to 2014.

The report also indicates that the number of jobs supported by $1 billion in exports increased last year.  In 2015, every $1 billion in U.S. goods exports supported 5,279 jobs, up from 4,969 jobs in 2014. The number of jobs supported per $1 billion of services exports remained nearly constant in 2015.

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New Study: How Important is FDI to the U.S. economy?

February 24, 2016

Felicia Pullam is the Director of Outreach for SelectUSA.

The International Trade Administration (ITA) released a new study that quantifies the employment impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. Economists from ITA’s Office of Trade and Economic Analysis estimate that 12 million jobs, or 8.5 percent of the entire U.S. labor force, were attributed to FDI.

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Foreign direct investment

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), also within the U.S. Department of Commerce, conducts an intensive survey every year that measures the number of people employed by foreign companies, along with other information about their operations. According to their data, roughly 6.1 million people were directly employed by U.S. affiliates of majority foreign-owned companies in 2013 (the most recent year for which we have data). In other words, international companies like Siemens, Unilever, and Toyota have operations in the United States that employ American workers.

The economic impact of this foreign investment goes beyond the direct jobs. International companies help drive American innovation, connect American communities with the world, and bring new techniques to improve productivity. In 2013 alone, companies like Novartis, Michelin, and Samsung spent a whopping $53 billion on American research and development.  That same year, companies like Honda and L’Oréal, exported $360 billion worth of goods from the United States.

All of this direct economic activity generates additional motion in the local and national economy. For example, these companies rely on other companies within their supply chain.  The employees of these companies all earn income, which they can in turn spend at restaurants or on other goods for their families.  Employees are trained with new skills, which benefit them for the rest of their lives as they move on to future jobs.

L’Oréal, headquartered in France, directly employs more than 10,000 people in the United States, with facilities in 14 states. L’Oréal USA manufactures billions of dollars’ worth of products in the United States for American sales, while also exporting more than $500 million of finished product from the United States every year. To achieve this, L’Oréal USA sources many of its production-related purchases (e.g., packaging, raw materials, and subcontracts) from suppliers in our country, including companies like Stull Technologies, Inc., in New Jersey, and New York Label & Box Works.

Lufthansa Group, headquartered in Germany, directly employs 14,000 people across the United States. Its subsidiary, Lufthansa Technik, recently cut the ribbon on a world-class aircraft maintenance facility in Puerto Rico, employing 203 skilled workers (with plans to double in the next year).  But Lufthansa Technik’s local impact does not stop there – 140 more people are employed by other companies that provide Lufthansa with a variety of services, including Wasco, Genesis, Food Friends, Antilles, and Occupational Medical Services. This specific investment not only brings high-skilled jobs and workforce training to the community, it also establishes an important cornerstone for the local industry.

The landmark study released today, titled “Jobs Attributable to Foreign Direct Investment in the United States”, looks at these broader economic effects to estimate the larger impact.  Building on BEA’s data, the report uses the United States Applied General Equilibrium (USAGE) model to conservatively estimate the total number of jobs attributable to FDI through two channels.

The first channel includes 2.4 million jobs in supply and distribution chains related to foreign-owned enterprises and jobs stimulated by increased incomes. The second channel includes 3.5 million jobs attributable to productivity growth in manufacturing associated with FDI. In total, the report estimates that, in addition to 6.1 million direct jobs, at least 5.9 million indirect jobs also rely on FDI, totaling 12 million jobs.

This result shows clearly that FDI continues to be important to the U.S. economy. The United States is home to more foreign investment than any other country, and there are still opportunities to attract more. The SelectUSA program, also housed within ITA, offers services to foreign companies and U.S. economic development organizations to facilitate this investment.  Topics that are directly related to the economic effects discussed in the report, such as innovation, advanced manufacturing, and workforce development, will be on the agenda for the SelectUSA Investment Summit, coming up in June 2016.

View the full report 

 

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Expanding Small Business Owners’ Access to Our Data with Census Business Builder

September 10, 2015

This post originally appeared on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Director’s BlogThis post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Map Depicting Employer Establishments in Fairfax County, Virginia

Map Depicting Employer Establishments in Fairfax County, Virginia

The U.S. Census Bureau is the premiere source of data about America’s economy and businesses, and we’re committed to making our data more accessible than ever before. I’m pleased to introduce our latest tool in that effort: Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition.

Every day, businesses large and small use Census Bureau data to make important decisions. Large companies have sophisticated research staff to do this work for them, but small business owners are often left to their own devices. We’ve talked to many entrepreneurs across the country, and a common request is for more Census Bureau data in an easier-to-use format. We listened, and in response, we developed Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition to provide them with easier access to more data.

Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition combines economic and demographic data in meaningful ways that are useful to the small business owner. Uniquely, Census Business Builder also uses third party data on consumer spending. While not produced by Census, we believe that the addition of this data will help deliver the information that’s most useful for small business owners’ needs. The result is an innovative data tool that will help small business entrepreneurs determine the best type and location for their small business.

To start, select your business type from a list of over 40 categories – such as a restaurant, construction company or beauty salon – and where you’re considering setting up shop.

Once you input this information, you see a map view of your selected location (county, city, town or ZIP code), along with relevant demographic, economic and housing characteristics for that area’s residents. You can pull up features of other businesses like yours – such as number of establishments or similar businesses, average payroll and consumer spending. You can also add filters in order to see cities, counties and neighborhoods with their potential customers’ desired income, education, poverty and employment characteristics.

The combination of economic and demographic data allows small business owners to make an informed decision about what type of business to open and where to locate it. Once you’ve gathered all of the information you want, Census Business Builder generates a detailed report on the characteristics of your desired geography, its residents and businesses. This critical information can be incorporated into a business plan, a business loan application or shared with others.

Census Business Builder increases the availability and usefulness of the statistics the Census Bureau collects, and it’s a valuable tool for small business owners across America. This is the latest in the Census Bureau’s digital transformation effort, along with major upgrades to Census.gov, an expanding open API, mobile apps and other interactive data tools.

We hope you visit Census Business Builder and give us your thoughts via the feedback button. Ideas for improvements to future versions of the tool will come from you, the user.