In today's society, market statistics drive decisions in nearly every industry, private or public. The main source for this information is compiled by the US Census, which undercounts minorities, the homeless and special populations. The Economic Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics also undercount economic activity, especially informal or cash-only transactions.
Unfortunately, this missing data has profound effects on the business decisions of industries that rely on household income, population, or similar statistics to determine the location of key services. The deficiency of data results in underserved markets, which are primarily located in the inner city or urban core neighborhoods. Without this data, businesses, organizations and governments are often in the dark about the 'who and where' for their potential customers, clients and constituents. Undervalued markets with higher populations and incomes than reported by the Census often travel to other areas where key retail and services are offered, resulting in massive retail leakage. This has sales, tax and service implications for businesses, governments and organizations.
Beyond the private market, deficient market information affects schools, hospitals, organizations, county and city governments that receive any type of funding that is population based. Public agencies that serve immigrants and other special populations are receiving too few dollars when their clients are undercounted. The DrillDown analysis provides a more accurate picture of the population, enabling public agencies to challenge Census statistics.
Replacing Deficiency Statistics
Too often, inner city neighborhoods are plagued by what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke calls 'deficiency statistics.' These include poverty, crime, overcrowding, disinvestment, flight and racial characteristics. Social Compact analysis replaces these negative and stereotypical statistics with assets such as market buying power, unmet needs or retail leakage, and special economic information about the formal AND informal economy.
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Nontraditional Market Analyses: Dismantling Barriers to Retail Development in Underserved Neighborhoods
Remarks by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke At the Greenlining Institute's Thirteenth Annual Economic Development Summit, Los Angeles, California