Internet for Growth urges President Biden to protect internet-reliant small businesses and creators ahead of State of the Union

Recently launched coalition supports federal privacy law to level the playing field for start-ups and self-employed

February 28, 2022

Washington, DC — Ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address tomorrow, Internet for Growth, a coalition of hundreds of small businesses and creators who rely on the ad-supported internet to reach customers, is urging the President to resist calls for legislation and regulation that would harm job and economic growth. Instead, Internet for Growth encourages the President to support a federal data privacy law that would simplify a complicated patchwork of state laws emerging across the U.S.

Internet for Growth launched this year to add the perspective of small business owners, entrepreneurs and creators competing in today’s digital economy to the debate swirling around “Big Tech,” threatening their ability to compete with larger companies with more resources.

“Small businesses and the self-employed create a bigger share of internet jobs than all the largest firms combined,” said Max Fose, president of Arizona-based ad agency Fose+McKay, the newest member of Internet for Growth. “That shows how the internet has democratized business creation and enabled small firms like mine to compete with anyone.”

“Web and digital advertising are a key component of everything we do for our clients,” said Fose. “To our agency, it’s like oxygen to a human being. We couldn’t live without it.”

“My business grew dramatically when I started advertising online, because the ability to finely tune my ad strategy meant that I was able to connect with those who are most interested in buying my products,” said the coalition’s Helen Martinez, CEO of WKND WYFR. “But now, restrictions on the ability to access consumer preferences have made my online advertising dollars less effective, forcing me to change my business model.”

“I believe we can have an internet that works for small businesses and protects consumer privacy, but policymakers need to listen to the voice of small businesses,” she said.

“The ad-supported internet delivers an estimated $30,000 in free email, search, navigation, news and information services to every American each year, and supports more than 17 million internet-related jobs contributing to every state’s economy,” said Brendan Thomas, Executive Director of Internet for Growth. “It enables everyone from mom-and-pop shops to technology start-ups to develop products quickly in response to instant feedback, scale rapidly to meet demand, and break down geographic barriers to reach customers around the world, providing more choice than ever.”

“The State of the Union is the perfect time for the President to demonstrate his support for American job creators by resisting calls for more legislation and regulation that would lead to more consolidation among the largest technology companies and punish Main Street, which migrated online during the pandemic,” said Thomas. “Let’s continue the surge of small businesses growth that broke records last year.”