The eBay Government Relations team recently hosted 24 eBay small business owners from around the country in Washington, DC for the 14th annual U.S. of eBay Advocacy Day event. The sellers hailed from 20 states and advocated for policies that would make it easier for small businesses to export via the eBay Marketplace and affordable, reliable and universal postal service. The sellers were joined by Devin Wenig, President & CEO, as well as other key eBay executives, including Jay Hanson, VP and COO, Americas, Marie Oh Huber, SVP, Legal Affairs, General Counsel, Cathy Foster, VP of Global Government Relations and Public Policy, Steve Wymer, Chief Communications Officer, and Suzy Deering, Chief Marketing Office, North America.
The Canopy Hotel in the waterfront district served as event headquarters and the first evening featured a reception at which eBay seller Angie Nelson, Co-Owner of eWaste Direct, Inc., received the eBay Small Business Ambassador Network (SBAN) Advocacy Leadership Award. This award is given each year to the SBAN member who has shown exceptional commitment and dedication to advancing policy issues that affect technology-enabled small and medium sized businesses.
The Advocacy Day kicked off the next morning with a business update and Q&A with Jay Hanson. Seven groups of sellers, executives and government relations staff then headed to Capitol Hill for a day of meetings with over 60 influential members of Congress and staff. Each meeting provided an opportunity for the sellers to talk about their experiences as eBay-enabled small business owners. They also highlighted how government policies on trade and the postal service were directly affecting them and what was needed to help their small businesses to grow. At a break for lunch, the sellers heard from Senator John Tester (D-MT) about the issues on which Congress was focused and some of the items he recently purchased on eBay.
“This is our 14th Advocacy Day in Washington, DC and we [brought] 24 sellers to meet with Members of Congress to talk about super important issues that impact them on a daily basis.”
-Cathy Foster, VP, Global Government Relations and Public Policy
The Advocacy Day event culminated with our eBay Celebrates Small Business gathering. This highly anticipated party at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum featured our 24 Small Business Ambassadors stationed at customized kiosks with their products on display and their eBay stores open. During the party, Devin Wenig presented the first ever eBay Congressional Small Business Champion Awards to Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Representative Doug Collins (R-GA). Nearly 700 people attended the event, including Members of Congress, congressional staff, tech company executives and other D.C. eBay stakeholders.
eBay would like to thank the 24 sellers for taking time away from their businesses to travel to Washington, DC and advocate on behalf of all eBay-enabled small businesses nationwide. The eBay Government Relations team will continue to encourage Congress to support trade policies that remove barriers for small business and reduces transaction costs as well as a strong and viable United States Postal Service.