Inclusive Economy

eBay Empowering U.S. Small Business Trade and Inclusive Growth

Cathy Foster, VP, Government Relations & Public Policy

The eBay Government Relations’ Advocacy & Policy Programs Team published a new report highlighting how eBay is driving small business trade and balanced and inclusive growth across the United States.

For over twenty years, eBay has been at the forefront of connecting small businesses to consumers around the world.  This has been a gamechanger for small businesses that were previously limited in their ability to export, because of extraordinary costs.  In addition, the costs and challenges only increased the further these enterprises were from more populous regions of the country.  However, the Internet combined with eBay and other platform-based services like payments and logistics have dramatically reduced the cost of distance so much that small enterprises – in rural and urban areas – can reach global markets.  For the first time, it is now possible to be small and remote, yet global and independent.  And, as this report details, the small businesses that use eBay are taking full advantage of this new reach.   

The new U.S. Small Online Business Trade and Inclusive Growth report reveals that at the national level, 96% of eBay-enabled small businesses export and reach an average of 17 different foreign countries with their products.  By comparison, only 1% of traditional businesses in the Unites States are exporters and reach an average of only 4 foreign markets.  Additionally, 60% of eBay-enabled small businesses sold to customers on four or more continents, further solidifying that the export reach through eBay is truly global.  Similar rates of exporting were also achieved at the state level, demonstrating that these opportunities are available to small businesses throughout the United States.  

The export success of eBay-enabled small businesses is a good news story of inclusive global trade.  The ability for small enterprises to reach customers outside of their local and country markets is creating more balanced and inclusive economic opportunities.  For example, this new research has revealed that from 2011-2016, eBay small business growth was 5.1 times more balanced than traditional business growth in the overall economy.  Expanding access for small businesses to trade also provided a growth and opportunity boost to more remote and less prosperous communities across the country. The report examined communities in the U.S. facing moderate to severe economic hardship and compared the growth in the number of eBay-enabled small businesses to the growth in number of traditional businesses.  In these communities, which are home to nearly 100 million Americans, the number of eBay-enabled small businesses grew at a rate of 21%, while the number of traditional businesses increased at a rate of less than 1%.         

eBay is committed to providing small businesses with the means and opportunities to grow their operations and create wealth in their own communities.  As this new report demonstrates, eBay is reducing the barriers that have traditionally locked small businesses into their local market and consumer demand around the world can now be accessed by independent small enterprises.  As a result, eBay-enabled small businesses are trading globally at an unprecedented rate.  However, even more importantly, we can see that giving small enterprises meaningful access to remote markets increases the opportunities for economic growth and new enterprise formation in remote and less-advantaged regions across America.