Small Business Ambassador Network
Small Business Ambassador Network
At eBay, we understand how the Internet has revolutionized the way entrepreneurs around the world conduct business. Highlighting the success stories of our eBay sellers is a powerful tool to illustrate this to lawmakers and the media. To help achieve this we have created eBay's Small Business Ambassador Network. The network features small businesses, whose stories and experiences perfectly showcase how technology has successfully enabled commerce and allowed small retailers to thrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Writing a letter or email to your elected officials
- Calling your elected officials
- Signing an op-ed or Letter to the Editor for local or national media outlets
- Interviewing with local and national media outlets
- Conducting a facility tour of your warehouse or business for elected officials
- Attend or speak at a roundtable or panel event
- Attending town halls or other public events
- Meet senior level executives
Small Business Spotlight
Andrea Gönner, Garnwelt
Husband and wife team Andrea and Hans Goenner have been entrepreneurial partners for many years. Before starting their online business Garnwelt, the Goenners owned a big textile company in Riedlingen. This company manufactured and sold ladies’ clothes for many years. In an unfortunate turn of events the company went out of business. That’s when the couple began taking the high quality wool they were once using to make the ladies’ garments and selling it online on the eBay platform. While the business started as a means to liquidate their failed business, it actually ended up turning into an extremely successful venture.
Andrea was one of the first European members of our Small Business Ambassador Network. Andrea truly understands the importance of telling her story and highlighting what technology and the Internet have done for small businesses. Andrea’s story has been included in a variety of eBay’s reports on tech-enabled entrepreneurs. She continues to look forward to using her personal story to showcase to elected officials and other important stakeholders the importance of a Digital Single Market for Europe’s SMEs.
Mac Griffiths, mdgsales
South Jordan, Utah
As early as he can remember, Mac Griffiths has had an entrepreneurial spirit. When he was younger he dabbled in selling a variety of items- everything from leather gloves to art work. But it wasn’t until 2000, when Mac came across eBay as a platform, that he found a truly profitable venture. With a background in computer science, Mac left his full-time job in 2002 and opened an eBay store specializing in the sale of computer and networking equipment software. In the beginning Mac sold out of his home, sending his wife Maria to the post office with bags full of boxes to ship. Today Mac employs five people, two full-time and three part-time, and has an office and warehouse to run the business and store inventory. Over the years he has also auctioned off a number of unique items including a six-foot long kitchen sink and an FBI camera that is able to slide under doors. Owning an eBay enabled small business gives Mac the flexibility to balance both family and work.
Members in the Media
One of the many benefits of becoming a member of eBay’s Small Business Ambassador Network and working with eBay’s Government Relations team is the opportunity for your business to be featured in the media. Whether it’s on public policy issues or business issues, we’re always looking for opportunities to highlight our many Ambassadors in the media. Here are some recent examples:
David LahmeTradePort USASomersworth, New Hampshire, USA
Danna GoldenSaddle UpLongmont, CO
Mario CalabreseFootlooverGrassano, Italy
Nick MartinThe Pro's ClosetBoulder, Colorado, USA
SBAN Advocacy Leadership Award
Every year, the eBay Government Relations team honors one member of the Small Business Ambassador Network with our Advocacy Leadership Award. The award is intended to honor a SBAN member who has shown exceptional commitment and dedication to working with our team on issues that affect technology-enabled small and medium sized businesses.
Colleen Rast, Owner, Great Sky Gifts Inc.
Colleen's involvement with eBay's Government Relations team started before SBAN's formal launch in 2013. Colleen has been involved with our team in a number of ways. She joined three advocacy day events in Washington DC, she attended a press conference on Internet sales tax with the Montana attorney general, she spoke as a special seller guest at our 2015 Global Government Relation summit and when she got the chance to have lunch with eBay founder Pierre Omydiar, she agreed to have him autograph a set of collectible Pez dispensers that the Government Relations team later auctioned off for charity. Throughout this time Collen has always been an effective advocate for small technology-enabled businesses.
Steve Douge, Director of Online Sales, Hardware Sales
eBay's Government Relations Team is lucky to have Steve Douge as part of our Network. Since joining SBAN, Steve has engaged in a number of important activities. He has hosted Rep. DelBene (D-WA) for a tour of his facility, he has lobbied for small businesses on Capitol Hill during eBay’s Advocacy Day in 2014 and 2015 and he has participated in a number of events focused on educating Members of Congress and staff on the benefits and barriers of cross border trade.
Wayne Johnson, Owner, Anglers Habitat
Wayne has been a loyal member of eBay’s Small Business Ambassador Network since 2013. After traveling to Washington in April 2013 for eBay’s Advocacy Day, Wayne continued to be involved in our team’s efforts to protect small businesses back at home in Caldwell, Idaho, conducting a meeting in Rep. Labrador’s (R/ID) district office. As a SBAN member, Wayne has continuously sent letters and made phone calls to his Congressman and Senators on a number of small business issues. Wayne has also published a Letter to the Editor explaining the burdens of the Marketplace Fairness Act (Internet sales tax legislation) in the Idaho Press Tribune. With our team’s help, Wayne continues to educate his elected officials on Internet sales tax and trade.