Small Business Owners to Congress: Protect Digital Advertising

Small business owners from across the country met with over two dozen U.S. House and Senate offices last week to highlight the importance of digital advertising. Nine out of 10 small businesses use digital advertising to compete in today’s online economy. Without digital advertising many small businesses would be unable to advertise at all, but legislation in Washington that would severely restrict or eliminate customer data would make digital advertising more expensive and less effective.

“Digital advertising is the lifeblood for many small businesses and legislation like the AMERICA Act would undermine that,” said Brendan Thomas, Executive Director of Internet for Growth. “Small businesses have been beset by numerous challenges over the past couple of years, such as the pandemic, inflation, and the possibility of a recession. Through it all, digital advertising has been a lifeline, allowing businesses to reach consumers in the most cost-effective manner. Congress debated a myriad of legislation last year, like the American Data Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA), that would have a devastating impact on small businesses. It’s vital that Congress hears from these business owners how crucial this resource is before re-introducing any legislation that would crush small businesses.”

Businesses shared their stories with Congress about how digital advertising is responsible for their success and expressed concern over legislation that would undermine digital ads. “We’ve seen how companies have leveraged digital advertising to grow their business, expand their market, and exceed their quarterly goals,” said Drew Ament, owner of Phoenix, Arizona based marketing firm Press1toTalk. “It’s important that we communicate to Congress that digital advertising enables small businesses to compete with big global companies.”

Following meetings with Congress, Internet for Growth members joined Paul Martino, Vice President and Senior Policy Counsel of the National Retail Federation, at a panel discussion on Capitol Hill to highlight the importance of digital advertising to local businesses including the retail sector. At the panel, Oma Christina, founder and CEO of Westerville, Ohio’s The Hair Chest, a hair care and restoration business, said the following: “Through digital advertising I’ve been able to tailor my message to make sure I’m getting the most out of my advertising dollars.”

Internet for Growth represents hundreds of small businesses that rely on personalized advertising and low-cost digital advertising tools. Internet for Growth supports common-sense data privacy legislation, protecting small business’ advertising tools, and maintaining predictability and reliability within the digital advertising ecosystem.