Nov 4, 2015

A recent seminar presented by Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB’s) Technical Assistance Workshop Series provided a hands-on look at apps available from the U.S. Census Bureau to give small businesses and startups the edge in exploring the demographics of potential markets. Jerry Wong, Data Dissemination Specialist for the Census Bureau’s Los Angeles Region, explained that census data allows business owners to research how to start or expand a business. “My intent is to inform individuals here on Maui, particularly entrepreneurs and company representatives, about the new tools that will assist them in the analysis of locations on Maui for business opportunities through looking at the census data for those specific areas,” said Wong. “This training applies to market research, community analysis and planning, grant proposals and general decision making, all of which involve the use of statistical information.”
“The purpose of this seminar was to add another tool to each participant’s business toolkit,” said Frank De Rego, Jr., Director of Businesss Development Projects at MEDB. “The two new apps created by the U.S. Census Bureau, Census Business Builder and On the Map, along with Knight Ridder’s Census Reporter, now make accessing census data more user-friendly. As these tools are expanded and improved, they will be invaluable for strategic business planning,” said De Rego.

“We recently opened our first gallery here on Maui,” said Lisa Marie Corcoran of National Geographic Fine Arts Galleries in Wailea. “I very much appreciate this great opportunity to learn how to use census data to benefit our customers and community.  Specifically, we are very interested in capabilities for exploring the demographics and socioeconomic characteristics of potential markets on-island,” she explained. “While we estimate 80 percent of our market to be tourist-driven, we want to better understand the community we operate in. MEDB and the Visitor Bureau also do a great job of publishing current and historical demographic data.”