Happy countdown to Thanksgiving Thursday, which is just a week from today!
We’re thankful for all of the small businesses that make the American economy hum from sea to shining sea, and we’re proud to be defending your digital interests through the Connected Commerce Council (3C). Thanks for joining the fight!
Here are 5 things you should know this week:
1. 3C Takes Its Message to Capitol Hill
I gave voice to the 2,500 member companies of 3C at a House Small Business Committee hearing Nov. 14. Citing both a recent study and Utah-based 3C member Beddy’s as one of many success stories, I noted that prosperous small businesses leverage digital tools to boost their profitability and create jobs. The result is more, better, cheaper products for consumers everywhere and a more vibrant economy here at home. Watch my testimony, and see coverage of the hearing at Broadcasting & Cable.
2. Ohio Senate Hears Small Business Perspective
My testimony on Capitol Hill followed an appearance before the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee in October. In a subsequent Columbus Dispatch op-ed, I praised the panel for their invitation, seeing it as a hopeful sign that policymakers will consider the perspective of small businesses before regulating the digital economy. Digital technology, digital platforms and digital tools are helping small businesses start, grow and succeed in previously unimaginable ways.
3. Amazon’s Scale Flows Down to Its Small Partners
The numbers tell the story of Amazon’s contributions to the success of small businesses, according to a 3C analysis. Amazon drove more than $160 billion in sales by 1.9 million small businesses that use the e-commerce site. Two-thirds of small businesses that shift gears from sales by mail to e-commerce via Amazon boost their returns on investment and become more competitive.
4. The Digital Pipeline to Entrepreneurial Success
ShearShare co-founder Tye Caldwell wants people to know his entrepreneurial success story isn’t unique. His “Airbnb for stylists and salons” gained traction for the same reason many other small businesses do these days – digital tools from Google AdWords and social media to Stripe and Slack. Caldwell urged policymakers not to break the profitable pipeline between big technology companies and budding entrepreneurs. “Getting this wrong could be disastrous to millions of hard-working Americans,” he said.
5. 10 Reasons to Be Thankful for Big Tech
Small businesses need every advantage they can get these days, and technology offers several of them. They include better brand exposure, streamlined accounting, advanced project management and lower costs. “Many people stand to gain a lot from integrating modern technological advancements into their operations on a deeper level,” entrepreneur Ruth Hoffman said. See the rest of her list at Business.com. Then head over to Forbes to digest “6 Tips for Small Business Saturday,” which is in nine days!
A Bedtime Story Washington Needs to Hear
Beddy’s, West Jordan, UT
On the night before Christmas — and every other night — Betsy Mikesell and Angie White have visions of children nestled all snug in their Beddy’s. Parents can join the fun, too, in their own adult-sized Beddy’s, the zippered bedding that Mikesell and White created.
As often is the case, the Utah duo’s innovation sprung from necessity. Mikesell was desperate for a way to motivate her twin boys to do a chore every child hates — making the bed. She worked with her own mother to create bedding she hoped would do the trick and then recruited her jogging friend White when she saw the potential for something more. With digital assists along the way, they developed a business around their trademarked design.
Five years after its founding, Beddy’s directly employs 15 people and indirectly created a few dozen other jobs. The company also donates bedding to a homeless shelter and backs other causes like amputee rehabilitation and the Festival of Trees.
Those jobs and charitable causes could be at risk if the technologies they use become more expensive as a result of new laws or regulations.