The objective of this applied research project is to use Wisconsin county sales tax data to identify the strengths and weaknesses of selected retail and service sectors. Using "count" data on the number of businesses that report taxable sales we apply regression analysis to develop an estimate of the expected number of firms in the county. By comparing the observed and expected number of firms we can identify strengths and weaknesses. Through the regression analysis we can also identify which socioeconomic characteristics are associated with which types of retail and service firms. The method that we offer we refer to as Firm Count Analysis (FCA) and can be viewed as a complement to Trade Area Analysis (TAA) and the analysis of sales data.


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