The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
My husband and I are long-time supporters of the sharing economy, most specifically with AirBnB, which allows us to rent out the spare room in our home on a short term basis. We also use AirBnB when we travel. It is an extremely valuable service that allows us to lower the costs associated with travel. We enjoy being able to stay in local neighborhoods when travelling, as opposed to business or airport centers. We tend to choose locations that allow us to walk to small shops and restaurants and it gives us an opportunity to engage with local communities. We find the same to be true for travelers who choose to stay with us through AirBnB. They can experience our neighborhood and support our local small business. It is an excellent way to support our economy, especially for the independent business owner. Additionally, we are able to earn income that helps us manage our mortgage payment. AirBnB provides us the security to know that even when we are struggling to make ends meet, we have a system that will help us avoid foreclosure. My mother lost her home in 2010 because she was unable to pay her bills, and I am so thankful to know that the sharing economy is helping middle-class people like myself stay out of desperate situations. We really enjoy meeting new people and opening our home to others in this way has enabled enriched our lives tremendously. I do hope you consider the incredible positive effects of being able to share as a society, and I hope that the gov't can support the citizens in these new pathways to financial stability.