Earlier this month, 12 members of eBay’s Small Business Ambassador Network (SBAN) traveled to Capitol Hill as part of eBay’s annual Advocacy Day to discuss and share their perspective on small business policy proposals and advocate for policy changes with a wide range of lawmakers.
The SBAN program serves as an important connection between eBay sellers and policymakers to ensure Congress understands the positive and negative impacts of proposed laws and regulations on small business owners.
Serving as an eBay small business ambassador is an immense responsibility. I am not just representing my business, but I am advocating on behalf of eBay small businesses nationwide. It is important to ensure small businesses have a voice on Capitol Hill and these meetings can have a huge impact on a piece of legislation a lawmaker or their staff member is considering. We provide the real life experience of how legislation and regulation can either help or hinder business.
– Paul Apollonia, owner of Paul's Discount Store, Raleigh, NC
This year, attendees met with members of Congress to discuss two important policy issues for eBay sellers: the impact of new 1099-K tax reporting requirements on small sellers, and the unintended consequences of proposals to combat fraud that would hurt small online businesses.
Throughout the day, the eBay Small Business Ambassadors were able to talk directly to the challenges the new 1099-K tax reporting requirements would have for casual sellers or those who are selling used or pre-owned items where there is no taxable event. Sellers were especially passionate about how this new tax reporting requirement could create barriers for new entrepreneurs who might decide not to start an eBay business because of the confusion related to this new, lower reporting threshold.
We need our lawmakers to understand that the new thresholds for 1099-K reporting will serve as a barrier to those looking to start a business and they should consider the consequences and frankly, the unnecessary burden this will place on businesses that are already meeting their tax obligations under existing tax code.
– Kathy Terrill, owner of NYC Fitness, Family Finds, Manhattan, NY
You can learn more about eBay’s efforts to change 1099-K threshold reporting, here.
Sellers were also able to engage lawmakers on how eBay is fighting fraud and combating the selling of counterfeit goods, which is becoming an increasing area of interest for lawmakers. Specifically, eBay sellers brought to the attention of lawmakers how federal legislation could be proposed that would target criminal activities, while ensuring those same legislative proposals do not inadvertently create an environment that harms small businesses. These conversations provided an opportunity for the sellers to share how eBay deploys a robust set of tools to remove prohibited items and protect its community.
As a seller, I feel strongly that eBay is working hard to ensure its community is protected from bad actors and to maintain a safe and trusted marketplace.
– Margie Rose, owner of Various Adventures, Darlington, SC
Learn about eBay's efforts to protect its community here.
Bringing the eBay Small Business Ambassador Network to Washington, D.C. to engage with lawmakers and their staff has a tangible impact on how legislation is drafted with small businesses in mind. eBay is lucky to have a great, dedicated group of sellers who are willing to take time away from running their successful business to share their story and impress upon lawmakers and their staff the importance of ensuring that policy and legislation is crafted in support of small businesses.