Yesterday, Thumbtack hosted Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida and current candidate in the Republican presidential primary, for a town hall discussion at our Headquarters in San Francisco.
For those of you following the news, this week began with the 2016 campaign calling attention to the effects of 21st century technology on the workforce, with a Presidential candidate raising questions about how workers can survive and thrive in a rapidly changing digital economy. Here at Thumbtack, this is a question we grapple with every day.
How rapidly advancing technological change both improves and displaces the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world is one of the most important developments of our age. As we celebrate how technology empowers the people who benefit from it, we also need to address what happens to the people who are left behind in technology’s wake.
Thumbtack is committed to using our technology to empower professionals to succeed – it is the whole basis of our business model, which solves the challenges of online marketing for millions of businesses across the country.
We believe that helping our pros succeed means doing more than just helping their businesses grow – it is also giving them a voice when it comes to the issues that matter to them most. It’s why we conduct research like our Small Business Friendliness Survey, and it’s why we work with policy makers from across the political spectrum to improve the tax and regulatory environment in which our pros work.
We’ve given our pros a platform at the White House to tell the SBA Administrator what the Federal Government could do better to support small businesses, and we’ve hosted the Governor of Utah in our Salt Lake City office to take questions from small business owners looking for the resources they need to start and run their businesses.
We’ve begun a conversation around creating licensing systems that make sense, to benefit the contractor in California who has trouble just knowing what licenses he needs depending on which county he is in, let alone filing the paperwork and paying the fees. We’re already pushing lawmakers to recognize that when it comes to taxes, it isn’t the tax rate that matters to very small and new businesses as much as the hidden, burdensome costs of a complicated compliance regime that can really make things difficult.
We’re also showing municipal and state leaders which resources they should share with their small business constituents, and how to improve access to those resources. Finally, by providing the tools that help service professionals meet new customers and build a business that lasts, we’re showing the country how technology can empower skilled small business owners to succeed in a rapidly changing economy.
Which brings us back to yesterday’s event. We thank the Governor for coming to our office and fielding some tough questions from our staff and from our pros who were watching the event online. We have not and will not endorse any candidate nor align ourselves with a political party, but we’re eager to bring attention on the national stage to the struggles our pros face, and we are proud of the work we do on their behalf.
We welcome the chance to provide a forum for anyone looking to champion American small business, and hope today’s event is the beginning of a dialogue between small businesses, our political leaders, and the millions of people around the world finding their lives transformed by technology.