Etsy wants to ensure its sellers have economic security and is advocating for a federal government portal to help individuals manage programs. It released a white paper on Tuesday and is bringing 16 sellers to Washington DC to lobby legislators.
Etsy proposes creating a Federal Benefits Portal, which would tie all benefits to the individual, providing a single marketplace to view, choose and pay for benefits, regardless of where or how they earn income.
Here are some stats from Etsy that show the makeup of its seller base:
"The vast majority of Etsy sellers - 86% of whom are women - are sole proprietors working alone out of their homes. While 30% of Etsy sellers focus on their creative business as their sole occupation, 65% said they started their Etsy shop as a way to supplement income. On average, an Etsy seller's creative business contributes 15% to her total household income."
Etsy proposes that the federal portal would bring together plans covering health insurance, retirement savings, tax advantaged savings, disability insurance, workers compensation, unemployment insurance, paid leave, Social Security, and Medicare. All plans would be registered on the portal, including private plans available on the individual market, employer, union, association and government plans.
Longtime readers may remember that in 2002, eBay's Meg Whitman announced
the company would provide a health insurance program for PowerSellers to much excitement, but the eventual reality was underwhelming.
This isn't Etsy's first attempt to concern itself with sellers' well-being; it entered into an agreement
with a health insurance broker last year.
You can read more about the proposal and find a link to the white paper on the Etsy blog
- let us know what you think.
Should online marketplace advocate for seller benefits?