Advocating Through Partnerships for Small Businesses Everywhere

December 3, 2020

*This blog originally appeared on eBayinc.com

This year, in light of the pandemic and uncertainty for many entrepreneurs, we are focused more than ever on empowering small businesses. This past spring, we launched Up and Running, pledging up to $100 million to help main street stores across North America sustain their businesses and transition to selling online. We have since created adaptations of this program in over 25 markets worldwide, along with the Up & Running Grants program to help small businesses succeed into 2021. In partnership with sellers, we also advocate at the local, state and federal level throughout the U.S. on behalf of small businesses. Last month, we recognized an eBay seller who has shown exceptional commitment to civic engagement with our annual Advocacy Leadership Award, and we also awarded two Congressional Small Business Champions as part of our eBay Celebrates Small Business 2020 event.

“We have a great responsibility to our sellers; people depend on eBay to operate their business, access new markets and provide income to support themselves and their families,” said Marie Oh Huber, eBay’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. “We work to ensure that small businesses are as least burdened as possible by various legislation.”

During our virtual event hosted by eBay’s Government Relations team, we awarded eBay seller Theresa Cox our annual Advocacy Leadership Award, and presented two members of Congress -- Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (CA-18th District) -- with our Congressional Small Business Champion awards for their work on behalf of small businesses throughout the U.S.

Theresa received the annual Advocacy Leadership Award this year. A long-time eBay seller, she opened her eBay store Club Red 97 in 1997 as a way to start fresh after a three-decade career in the finance operations area of higher education. Named after her favorite color, her store stocks home goods, musical instruments, fashion and accessories, many of which are themselves red. Theresa operates her store out of her home office and has been selling full-time to buyers all over the world since 2015. She is an active member of eBay’s seller advocate community, looking out for small businesses everywhere with her efforts, such as participating in multiple meetings with U.S. legislators as part of eBay Advocacy Day and appearing as a panelist on behalf of eBay for various small business webinars throughout 2020. 

“This award was extremely unexpected. eBay’s Government Relations team has always been such an amazing partner to sellers and I love working with them. Receiving this award just goes to show what type of place eBay is. They foster genuine relationships with their sellers and I am honored to be a part of this great community!”

Of this year’s Congressional Small Business Champions, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) has been a national leader in his work to bring opportunity to every American family since he joined the Senate in 2013. A former small business owner himself, he is a champion of entrepreneurs everywhere.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” the senator said as he addressed small business owners in his remarks. “Small business owners are resilient and innovative. You all are what keeps South Carolina and this country going. Your ability to implement new ideas is why America’s economy continues to recover and boom. Keep up the great work, I cannot thank you enough for what you do.”

Also honored was Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA18), who has represented Silicon Valley since 1992 and represents all the many employees who live near eBay’s San Jose headquarters. Leading efforts toward reforms for COVID-based issues, her father was a small business owner and she has thus seen first-hand their importance to the U.S.

“I had the special privilege to build a relationship with eBay since its founding 25 years ago,” she said. “This has been a highly challenging year for everyone, especially small businesses, and eBay has stepped up to support entrepreneurs in a special way.”

Sellers like Theresa partner with us to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill through our Government Relations’ team’s Small Business Ambassador Network (SBAN). A diverse community of sellers from across the world, these eBay entrepreneurs connect with their elected officials to share their story through letter-writing campaigns and even direct meetings with their Congressional representatives. The SBAN network includes eBay sellers in more than 20 countries around the world, and members in every U.S. state. Over 3,700 people are employed by eBay SPAN members, and altogether, SBAN members generate more than $520 million in GMV on eBay. 

Interested in learning more about our advocacy and government efforts? You can read more about ecommerce public policy issues of focus for eBay on our eBay Main Street website.