The first event was a panel discussion moderated by Alan Elias of the eBay Government Relations team and focused on how ecommerce can create big opportunity for small business. U.S. Representative Garret Graves of Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District provided introductory remarks and highlighted the importance of connecting small businesses in Baton Rouge to global markets. This was followed by the panel which included Clark Taylor, owner of a successful eBay-enabled small business called Tin-Ups, Veneeth Iyengar, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Baton Rouge, Christel Slaughter, CEO of SSA Consultants, and Deanna Smith, Executive Director of the Southern University Innovation Center. Alan touched on eBay’s new report which found that nearly every eBay-enabled small business in Louisiana is an exporter reaching customers around the world, and that small business growth is more economically and geographically balanced and inclusive on eBay than in the traditional economy. The panelists provided unique insights on the local economy, how ecommerce has transformed small business, and why the Retail Revival Program is a great fit for the city. Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome closed out the event by providing a brief overview of the program and the great opportunities it offers local small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The second event was a Diversity in Business Breakfast, which featured Damien Hooper-Campbell, eBay’s Chief Diversity Officer. Southern University Director of Development and Executive Director of the SU System Foundation Alfred Harrell and Mayor-President Broome each delivered opening remarks. Damien provided local business owners and community leaders with an inspiring session on what diversity means to eBay and why an inclusive workplace and marketplace is critical to the company’s global business strategy. After the breakfast, Damien and Denzel Singletary of the eBay Government Relations team visited minority-owned businesses across Baton Rouge with a goal of driving minority applications to the program. Damien also met with the Vice Provost for Diversity, Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Derek J. Rovaris at Louisiana State University to discuss the program.
About Retail Revival
The eBay Retail Revival program harnesses the power of technology and eBay’s global marketplace to support and grow small businesses, strengthen local economies and foster vibrant community growth. Through Retail Revival, eBay is partnering with select cities in the U.S. and around the world to bring Main Street businesses to the global marketplace, all while bolstering local economies through the retail sector. The Retail Revival program offers local, brick-and-mortar businesses and budding ecommerce entrepreneurs 12 months of ecommerce training as well as access to special tools to boost their reach and revenue, including onboarding assistance, ongoing training, dedicated customer service, and promotional support. The program launched in Akron, Ohio in early 2018 and has expanded to include Baton Rouge, Lansing, MI and Greensboro, NC in the US, plus Wolverhampton, UK and Halifax, Canada. Motivated small businesses in these cities have now opened their doors on eBay and, with the mentorship and support offered through the program, are reaching hundreds of thousands of customers around the world.