The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01538

Submission Number:
01538
Commenter:
Julie Jenson
State:
Utah
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I'd like to quickly share that at the start of this month of May, we were looking at options to walk away from our home purchased in 2007, cash in our retirement funds, or file for bancrupcy. We were in dire straits financially. The day after an attorney suggested bancrupcy was our best option, a colleague of my husband told him about Airbnb. That was the first time we'd ever heard of it. We filed for our business license and moved our five children who still live at home all upstairs and we listed our house. In just 23 days we have booked 18 nights in May and 40 overall. We made our bills and replaced a wAter heater that has been bad for over a year. We can finally see a way to help our children through schooling and to even take an occaissional vacation, something we've never done. Even better for us is that we have met some wonderful people who have stayed in our home. We have had great visits about life, culture and their experiences in this area. We've even made a couple of friends that I believe we will maintain communication for years. This program has finally let us meet our financial obligations for the month without incurring debt. We will have our credit card paid off and our car in the next few months. Local businesses are also benefitted because we encourage our guests to try the local restaurants. Guests have seemed willing to spend extra days in the area buying food, gas, and visiting more parks because we have encouraged them to take their time and we've given them a vision of things they need to see. It has been wonderful. We've even made some deals with local businesses to give each other's clients a discount. There is so much good that happens when cultures interact in this kind of a setting. My children are learning to really love and respect people from other races, religions, cultures, and moral standards. We can show them how principles of successful relationships are universal. I hope that wise government decision makers will see a true human value to these types of programs and find ways to encourage and enable through tax breaks rather than penalize or forbid people from bringing others into our homes. To stop this would be a terrible decision. People learning tolerance and kindness and culture in each other's homes while helping local economies is a win win for everyone but some of the bigger businesses. We even have local motels that want to refer people when they are booked. I hope you can see how my brief experience has been so good on so many levels. I hope I've shared appropriate things here. I hope more that we can continue to do this and at a price for travelers that doesn't tax everyone out of a great experience. Thank you for reading about how we've been blessed by participating with Airbnb. Please help us keep it going and affordable. Sincerely, Julie and eff jenson