NEEDLES — There still are several City of Needles-sponsored gift cards left to be given away to Needles residents who complete their census. The Needles Downtown Business Alliance, which is organizing the giveaway, stated that the gift cards are a value of $20 and are for Dairy Queen, Subway, River City Pizza, Retro Pizza and Munchies.

To be able to get one of the gift cards, residents can go to the Jernigan Insurance at 920 West Broadway and show their census numbers to Janet Jernigan. On Sept. 23 through 24, the Target Non-Sheltered Outdoor Location operation will take place, which addresses the population experiencing homelessness. The operation will be conducted between the hours of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and they will be in the El Garces at 950 Front Street.

The Census 2020 count ends on Sept. 30.

• The Needles Chamber of Commerce has made it possible for more than 25 Needles residents to fill out their 2020 Census questionnaire in the chamber office. The Needles Chamber of Commerce has a computer dedicated to the census survey; it’s 10 questions and it takes 10 minutes and the funding it helps bring to Needles will give benefits for 10 years. Fill out the census at the chamber on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sept. 30. Appointments can be made by calling 760-326- 2050.

The Needles Chamber of Commerce offices are COVID-19 compliant: Masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectants are available and the chamber observes social distancing.

The 2020 Census count is used to determine federal, state and other funding sources for the Needles community. If Needles is undercounted, there will be less funding for local streets, infrastructure, schools, housing, medical services, youth programs and elder support. Census figures also are used by prospective businesses to determine expansion and relocation plans; a good census count could help Needles in its pursuit of a grocery store. The deadline is Sept. 30.

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