This week eBay partnered with Politico to host a virtual deep-dive conversation on what small businesses need to survive and thrive after the COVID-19 economic crisis ends. The event was kicked off by eBay CEO Jamie Iannone and moderated by Ben White, chief economic correspondent for Politico. The discussion began with a keynote conversation with Jared Bernstein, member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, followed by a panel discussion featuring Representative Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Representative Pete Stauber (R-MN) and Alice Rodriguez, Chair of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The panel started the discussion with a focus on the effect that pandemic has had on small businesses, pointing out that about 1 in 6 US small businesses have closed since the beginning of the pandemic, with Black- and Hispanic-owned small business being hit particularly hard. The panel looked at the economic support provided by the federal government so far, including the $325 billion in small business aid enacted by Congress back in December and President Biden’s $1.9 trillion corona virus relief support package, and debated the merits of both.
Much of the discussion centered around lessons learned so far from the challenges and economic upheaval that small businesses dealt with in 2020 and early 2021, and how those lessons can be applied going forward. For example, small businesses that were able to pivot to ecommerce when physical retail traffic dried up saw an uptick in sales. The participants looked at how these innovations and key learnings could help small businesses in a post-COVID world.
This robust discussion was highly informative with all participants passionately advocating for small business support. We highly recommend you watch the event recording above.