This in-depth report provides insights into the trade and growth of eBay-enabled small businesses across the United States at the national and state levels. Using trade data, the Report describes how the online platform model for commerce is allowing independent small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the country to extend their geographic reach and actively engage with global customers. The Report also includes an analysis of new enterprise formation on eBay compared to the traditional economy from 2011-2017 in metro and rural counties across the country.
Key findings include that: (1) Nearly every eBay-enabled small business in the United States is an exporter and that this rate and average number of markets reached dwarfs that of traditional businesses; and (2) The ability for small businesses to reach customers across the globe is fostering much stronger enterprise growth in rural counties among eBay-enabled small businesses than is occurring in the overall rural economy. In addition, the report includes policy recommendations aimed at driving greater economic growth among small American businesses using the Internet to export.
Previous eBay research has detailed how, during the last economic recovery, providing everyone with direct access to the global economy resulted in new enterprise formation on eBay that was far more geographically inclusive compared to the brick-and-mortar economy. The findings presented in this report related to trade and growth suggest the global commerce opportunities offered by eBay can once again offer a pathway to economic recovery for American small businesses, regardless of location.