On May 2nd, PayPal Government Relations hosted a panel discussion on Capitol Hill titled, “Small Business Growth in the Digital Marketplace.” The subject of the panel focused on small business growth across America and how the digital marketplace is changing the calculus of who can fully succeed in creating a thriving small business.
The event began with remarks from both the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Small Business Committee, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH-01) and Ranking Member Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-07). The two members of Congress spoke about the bipartisan nature of small business issues and how important it is to create policy that encourages entrepreneurs to grow and succeed. Rep. Velazquez specifically raised the issue of access to capital for small businesses and the need to remove hurdles to entrepreneurs seeking funding.
The panel itself was born from research conducted by Usman Ahmed, Head of Global Public Policy at PayPal. The research looked into growth trends for small businesses that are participating in the digital marketplace. The full paper, “Democratizing Globalization: How Small Businesses across America are growing in the Digital Marketplace” can be found here. The research finds that small businesses operating with PayPal grow and export at a considerably higher rate than traditional businesses. The report also finds that if a small business uses PayPal, growth rates are comparable regardless of whether you are located in the heartland or on the coast, in a rural area or in the city.
After Usman presented some of the key findings from his research, the panel discussion got underway. Nikki Gentry, PayPal merchant from Missouri and Small Merchant Advocate, sat on the panel to share her first-hand experience of owning a small business, Dreamlines LLC, and growing with the help of tools like PayPal. Also on the panel was Eric Jones, Senior Policy Advisor for the Small Business Administration and E.J. Reedy, Director of the Polsky Center at the University of Chicago who acted as moderator.
The panel discussion was a very interesting and productive look into the issues small businesses are facing in 2017 and how private sector and governments can work together to encourage growth and success for entrepreneurs. The audience was very engaged and was made up of Congressional staffers, administration officials, academics and other industry professionals.
PayPal was honored to sponsor the panel to celebrate National Small Business Week and looks forward to continuing research and thought leadership on small businesses globally.