eBay Members Converge on Capitol Hill Next Week
By Ina Steiner
eBay is hosting the "United States of eBay" Small Business Summit in Washington D.C. on May 5, 2004. eBay is flying in 51 small-business representatives of the eBay community from each state and the District of Columbia. The participants consist of small businesses, half of whom buy supplies and equipment on eBay and half of whom make their living selling on eBay. They will meet with members of Congress and other policy makers on Capitol Hill and attend a dinner gala celebration hosted by Meg Whitman, President and CEO of eBay.
A series of lobbying meetings will be set up to introduce all 51 participants to their local members of Congress. They will share their personal stories of entrepreneurship and provide input about how policy decisions on issues such as Internet taxation can impact their small businesses.
eBay is concerned about legislation in Congress that would allow states to enforce the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP), a movement by states to advocate a streamlined tax structure for collecting remote sales tax (http://www.streamlinedsalestax.org). The legislation exempts businesses with less than $5 million in remote sales from collection responsibilities. eBay said the plan contains no guarantees for small business exemptions and would impose an enormous burden on them if they are required to file taxes across 50 states plus D.C.
According to eBay, there are more than 430,000 individuals making a living by selling on its site and thousands of small businesses saving money purchasing equipment and supplies for their businesses on eBay. eBay Dean of Education Jim "Griff" Griffith said the goal of the summit is to give legislators a better idea of the stories eBay small businesses have to tell and how the things legislators are doing in Washington affect the small-business owner.
The following day, Whitman will be speaking at the National Press Club on how the Internet is fostering growth for small businesses and fueling job creation.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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