Amazon: Helping or Hurting Small Businesses

Amazon: Helping or Hurting Small Businesses

Jaclyn Krizanic

December 12, 2020

With the holidays on the cusp and coronavirus cases continue to rise, gift giving will be a bit different this holiday season. While online shopping continues to increase and Black Friday sales happen throughout the entire month of November and online shopping continues to increase, the DIY projects have gained popularity in regards to buying, selling and gift giving for the upcoming season.

DIY simply means: do it yourself. These projects continue to trend on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and the beloved TikTok app. Yet, while these projects seem to increase in popularity due to the pandemic, small business sales have declined. 

The saying, “when one door closes, another one opens” seems to not apply to  small business sales lost due to social distancing measures and larger online marketing competitors like Ebay, Amazon and Etsy.

Etsy’s CEO released a statement in regards to Amazon supporting and backing the California consumer protection bill, AB 3262. According to CNBC News, this bill itself  “would burden small businesses with legal costs, effectively hurting Amazon’s competition”. In other words, this bill would negatively affect small businesses that do business online while Amazon continues to grow.

This battle between different online business platforms dates back to August 25, 2020. The negative impacts this particular bill has on small businesses directly contradicts Amazon’s previously communicated perspective of supporting small businesses through Etsy on their site. For instance, on Amazon Prime Day, if customers chose to support small businesses on the website, they received an Amazon gift card. USA Today explained how for the first time ever, “Prime Members who order $10 or more from any small business on Amazon between now and Prime Day will receive $10 of credit that can be used to purchase anything (from large or small businesses) during Prime Day.”

While the implementation of this promotion may seem positive at first, there seems to be two sides to this. Some people saw this promotion as Amazon’s way of playing off of a major set-back that could potentially have destroyed small businesses, even before they got started. However, to harnish this backlash, Amazon donated and supported small businesses that were established during the pandemic. This allowed many the ability to launch their small business in Amazon’s marketplace by having access to resources and aid the industry giant would supply. 

These different opportunities that are offered through Amazon can be found: here.

Even still, with that seemingly generous gesture, Amazon could be actually doing more harm than good. According to an article by Forbes, “more than 2,000 small business owners, it was clear that many viewed Amazon as a threat to their bottom line. In fact, two out of three small business owners said they view large corporations, such as Amazon and Google, as having a negative impact on growth opportunities.” 

With what seems to be a sticky situation for this big corporation, being aware of the sales at stake for small businesses this holiday season is important. Be sure to shop small, support those in need and if all else fails and times continue to change rapidly, there is always the option to practice DIY gift-giving this holiday season.

Jaclyn Krizanic is a senior studying professional writing and minoring in graphic design. Jaclyn plans to apply the knowledge and skill sets she has gained from her major into her current, future and professional work. Jaclyn loves to write poetry and aspires to publish a book of poems and short stories upon her graduation