Should You Answer Government Agency Industry Surveys, Or Not?


by Fran Bishop, NPA Government Relations Liaison


Every time one of these surveys, census inquiries, etc. is received by pawnbrokers the question of do I, or don’t I, respond arises. I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to say that being suspect of anything in the mail from ‘the government’ is a natural reaction. And, in this day and time, if received electronically the chances of being ‘spammed’ are off the charts. 


The recent question is about a Business Trends and Outlook Survey from The US Census Bureau asking for your “help to capture key economic data as well as expectations about future business conditions.”  


Just over 2 years ago a questionnaire came from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors seeking help to “understand the size and structure of lenders like you that supply credit or financing to U.S. households and businesses.”  At that time my comment to this inquiry was pawnbrokers need to consider filling this out because:  

  • Financial regulators such as the Federal Reserve, OCC, FDIC, etc. need to know we are out there. 
  • Stand up and be counted so when the NPA communicates with these and other agencies about  
  • bank discontinuance,  
  • eligibility for EIDL and PPP funds through SBA & Treasury, 
  • Department of Justice about Operation Chokepoint, 
  • And more


These agencies need to know we are advocating for you! Thousands of you! 


From a NPA Team GRC perspective, my intent is to explain the importance of supplying accurate pawn industry information ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’, instead of other sources.  


When all is said and done, it is your choice whether to respond or not.