The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01502

Submission Number:
01502
Commenter:
John Schim
State:
Wisconsin
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
To Whom it may Regard, I have been a business owner for more than 20 years. For most of those years I was able to make enough money to support my family and have a decent income. For the last 8 years that has all drastically changed. The ability for consumers to buy my products has significantly reduced and I worry more and more each year how to manage on a shrinking income. For this reason and because of a falling income that has put me into a place where I now have to decide whether I can help my child through college or not, I decided to become an AirBnB operator. My AirBnB income has been a saving grace in supplementing the income gap that has been growing for years. I had put off many home repairs due to my company's lagging sales. With my AirBnB income I have been able to restore two bathrooms and hire a contractor to fix cement work around the home. The new income has also allowed me to support my son's college expenses. Life would have been at a standstill, budget-wise, without the added income of my AirBnB business. And it has certainly been a pleasure to offer other financially strapped individuals a means to travel at an affordable rate. AirBnB does a wonderful job ensuring verification of its users, which are also supported by personal reviews of all users and providers. And while they visit the area, these guests bring revenue to the area. Many visit the professional sports venues, restaurants, pubs, shopping, etc. etc. And with BnB, they often travel with extended family, which brings even more revenue dollars into our community. This program is an essential opportunity for a middle class that has had to stunt their travel due to tough economic times. Without it, I predict a shrinking travel base will return. A solution to keep travel costs down has presented itself, it must be protected. Sincerely, John Schim