The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01330

Submission Number:
Whitney Morrill
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I write as an architect and mother in support of "the sharing economy." Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my overwhelmingly positive experience with being an Airbnb host. Since my children were born eleven and nine years ago, I've been trying to "crack the nut" of how to balance work and family obligations. And since the Recession of 2008, I've been struggling to make up for lost work, as I'm primarily a residential architect. Being an Airbnb host has helped solve both of these professional conundrums. The additional revenue generated by hosting out-of-town guests helps my bills---and for the first time in many years----is enabling me to save money for my children's education and my retirement. And best of all, I can prepare the house for guests with my children with me. It's flexible, and they get to see the kind of get-it-done work ethic that has real and immediate results: happy guests, a boost to the local economy, and a successful businesswoman for a mother. It's an American dream-love story, and I treasure that my kids get to see first-hand that hard work pays off. Being a host to travelers also enables me to boost our local economy. I buy pastries from Albemarle Baking Company for breakfast, and guests enjoy them so much that they often seek out the bakery during their visit for more purchases. I'm currently approaching a local coffee roaster about packaging small batches of coffee for weekend visitors. And I leave a list of local store, restaurant, vineyard and historic site recommendations to guide guests' shopping and dining during their stays. When people have a great experience at my B and B, they have a great impression of Charlottesville, and of Virginia. I know how powerful these ambassador-opportunities are; in 1985, I was selected to be one of 100 students to represent the United States in a US Senate exchange to Japan. It's another lesson I convey to my children because one day they will represent their country, their family, and their comapnies, when they travel in the world. With all best wishes, Whitney Morrill, Architect, NCARB, LEED AP [REDACTED]