L: Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan; R: Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) with Retail Revival participants
In close collaboration with the Akron, Ohio Mayor’s office and the Downtown Akron Partnership, eBay has officially launched its groundbreaking Retail Revival program. This 12-month pilot program aims to advance existing economic development efforts by harnessing the power of technology and eBay’s global marketplace in support of the local business community. As a part of the program, selected local small businesses will receive onboarding assistance, ongoing training, dedicated customer service and promotional support from eBay. Although only 40 businesses were originally targeted for this program, eBay ultimately accepted nearly three times that number due to overwhelming demand from the local business community.
Excitement for the event began last Wednesday at Akron’s annual State of the City address, which was given by the city’s mayor, Dan Horrigan. In his speech, he highlighted eBay’s support for Akron’s entrepreneurial community and noted how the program would keep the participating businesses competitive with larger, online retailers. He thanked eBay for being such “incredible partners,” noting that eBay generously agreed to accept so many businesses due to the community’s enthusiasm and the high number of applicants.
The official launch event kicked off last Thursday with a keynote from Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, who remained for much of the event to meet with local business owners. The remainder of the day then focused on a variety of training sessions for businesses new to the eBay platform. Sessions were led by leaders from many different eBay business organizations and focused on important subjects like inventory control, customer support, and search-engine optimization. Between training sessions was an informative Seller Panel featuring three top eBay sellers and Small Business Ambassador Network members:
-Laurie Wong – Owner of Reflections of Trinity and 2016 eBay SHINE Awards Grand Prize winner
-Travis Baird – Owner of SpeedOutfitters
-Ciara Brown – Owner of The Diamond Hanger and 2017 eBay Young Entrepreneur winner
The day concluded with a closing reception that was attended by Congressional staff from U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) office and from Congresswoman Marcia Fudge’s (D-OH) office. The eBay Government Relations team would like to thank Congressman Ryan, Mayor Horrigan and all of the legislative staff members who took time out of their busy schedules to support this event.
If you would like to support these local entrepreneurs, please visit the Retail Revival web page.