June 26, 2013
Small Businesses Go to Congress to Oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act
The eMainStreet Alliance. a group of small businesses owners who oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act and other online sales tax initiatives, recently took their message to congress.
The Alliance asserts that the MFA unfairly burdens small businesses with high compliance costs and subjects them to overwhelming audit risk. Jeanne SavelleÂ of Tools-Plus.com explains, “The dubiously titled Marketplace Fairness Act will impose huge compliance costs on our businesses and make us vulnerable to expensive and time-consuming tax audits from 46 states, 6 territories, and over 500 Native American Tribal Nations. This will hurt our businesses and even put some of us out of business.”
Members of the eMainStreet Alliance see themselves as David vs. Goliath and they attribute their rapid growth to the fact that the MFA is a serious threat to their businesses.
“We’re being unfairly targeted and our livelihoods and the livelihoods of our employees are at risk,” explainsÂ Justin KraussÂ of Garage Flooring LLC. “The triple threat of tax-hungry state legislatures, big retail led by Walmart, and opportunistic sales-tax software companies have joined forces in support of the MFA. They will all profit off of our burden and we know if we don’t speak up we’re going to get crushed.”
Corbin GlowackiÂ fromÂ My Pilot Storeagrees said: “This bill is written to help big business and supported by big business. Â Small businesses don’t want it and the American peopleÂ don’t want it.”
Members of the eMainStreet Alliance are paying their own way to travel toÂ Washington D.C.Â June 25-26. They’ll meet with members of Congress and hand-deliver aÂ letter signed by over 350 eMainStreet Companies.
“We take pride in the fact that we are all volunteers and that we are all paying our own way,” saysÂ McKane DavisÂ of Scrapbook.com. “This is a true grassroots movement. Unlike the astroturf campaigns funded by big retail, we don’t have a big company like Walmart orchestrating, organizing and funding the endeavor. We’re coming out of pocket to pay for our flights and hotel rooms and, honestly, this is a real sacrifice for many of us. We’re hoping it makes a difference and believe it will.”
The group asserts that it is not at odds with physical retailers and considers them allies.
“We want small mom and pop retailers and artisans to know that we stand with them,” saidÂ Terri S. Alpert, founder and CEO of Uno Alla Volta. “The MFA will not help small businesses. It will only make Walmart, Amazon.com and other mega-retailers stronger and it will deprive consumers of truly special, unique merchandise.”