Etsy CEO Josh Silverman called on European leaders to consider the self-employed, micro businesses, and gig workers when working on national economic recovery measures.
The CEO made a similar plea to US legislators last week as they worked on emergency relief efforts to help individuals and businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Etsy’s Silverman sent individual letters to the leaders of European institutions and EU and UK finance ministers. In it, he wrote that microbusinesses and the self-employed are vulnerable but are largely absent from the conversation. And, he wrote, “When action has been taken, measures vary widely across Member States. We therefore call on the European Commission and Member States to take a swift and coordinated approach to ensure that financial support reaches all types of SMEs, including microbusinesses, and all types of workers, including the self-employed.”
The following excerpt of his letter paints a picture of the plight people like Etsy sellers are facing:
“Etsy represents 2.7 million creative entrepreneurs, 83% of whom are women and nearly all of whom run one person businesses out of their homes. As sole traders, they do not always qualify for many social safety net programs, including unemployment insurance, disability insurance, or paid leave. Neither will they benefit from much of the important relief some EU Member States have already promised to workers and small business owners, including low-interest rate loans, emergency leave, or expanded unemployment protection. Yet, these businesses are among our most vulnerable to this current crisis, as they lack the financial resources to weather an unexpected decline in sales, and have no way to run their business should they get sick.”
You can find his full letter with suggested reforms on Medium.com.