On October 11-12th, the U.S. GR team held its 2nd annual PayPal Merchant Advocacy Summit in Washington D.C. which brought nine small business owners, all of whom use PayPal, to D.C. to share their success stories and talk about the tools PayPal has provided to help them grow. The merchants, all members of the PayPal Small Merchant Advocacy Delegation (a group of PayPal merchants advocating for small business issues), came in from all over the country to speak with legislators, administration officials and others about their business.
Small businesses are at the core of PayPal’s mission to improve financial health around the globe. Small businesses create jobs, benefit their communities and contribute to the economy. It is a privilege to bring some of these entrepreneurs to D.C. each year to share how PayPal can help businesses. Specifically, the summit focused on small business lending, relaying how PayPal Working Capital has helped small businesses access finance they need to grow, as well as the opportunities that cross-border trade opens up for small ecommerce businesses.
The group of merchants, along with our GR team met with nine Congressional offices (six of which included the Member), the Small Business Administration, U.S. Treasury Department and U.S. Department of Commerce over the two days in D.C. Joining the merchants for the SBA and Treasury meetings was Darrell Esch, VP of Global Credit, to lend his expertise on PayPal’s mission to providing access to capital.
During the meetings, the merchants shared their experience with PayPal Working Capital. Although each business was unique and different, the reasons for needing the program were for the most part the same. Whether they needed to get through slow months, stock up on inventory or take that next leap with their business, these merchants leaned on PayPal to help them access the funds they needed, often because of lack of options elsewhere.
During the meeting with Commerce in particular, the small business owners identified barriers that restrict them from fully engaging in the global marketplace. They shared how ecommerce has opened the world to them and allowed them to compete on a global scale like never before. However, real barriers exist that can be addressed by policymakers.
On the evening of the 12th, PayPal GR hosted a large cocktail reception, inviting Members of Congress, staff, academia, industry professionals, and others to celebrate PayPal’s small business empowerment. Before the merchants joined the event, they got the opportunity to sit down with PayPal CEO Dan Schulman for a private chat to share stories, talk about PayPal and express their ambitions for their businesses. Dan talked about how proud he was to be able to partner with their businesses through the tools that PayPal provides and expressed his desire to continue helping improve the financial health of entrepreneurs.
Dan had hosted a State of FinTech discussion on Capitol Hill earlier in the day in which he communicated similar messages while also discussing more generally his thoughts on how private and public sectors can work together to encourage innovation.
The PayPal Merchant Advocacy Summit was a fantastic opportunity to talk about small business and what can be done to enable their growth while also engaging directly with our small business community.