How small businesses can save the Internet

TL;DR: Pressure from small businesses is one of the most effective ways to convince Republican senators to vote to restore net neutrality. Please tell every small business owner you know to sign this letter, and help us reach out to small businesses en masse using this tool.

The U.S. Senate is headed for a vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to block the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality, and every small business in the country should be paying attention.

The death of net neutrality would hurt small businesses and startups the most, by making it impossible for them to compete with big corporate chains who can afford to pay new fees to Internet providers for access to customers. And it doesn’t just affect tech companies. Restaurants rely on online food orders and review sites to find customers, massage therapists book their appointments on the web, even modern farming equipment relies on a free and open Internet. Killing net neutrality amounts to a tax on the entire economy for the benefit for a few giant monopolies like Verizon and Comcast.

But small businesses mobilizing could be the secret ingredient that saves the free and open Internet for all of us. Over the past few months, we’ve seen that direct pressure from small business owners is one of the most effective methods of convincing Republican lawmakers to support net neutrality, and we need to get at least one more GOP senator on our side in order to win.

If the entire Internet comes together and we make it our mission to reach out to tens of thousands of small businesses, help them understand how the loss of net neutrality will affect them, and encourage them to speak out, it could tip the scales in Congress. Here’s how you can help:

  1. If you run a small business or startup of any kind, join hundreds of other businesses in signing our letter here:
  2. Most of us have a few self-employed people or small business owners in our network, so please spread the word through email, text, messenger, or on Facebook and Twitter.
  3. If you want to really help, use this tool to contact small businesses in your area and encourage them to sign on to the letter.

Once we get thousands of businesses signed on to the letter, we’ll work with them to arrange face to face meetings with key lawmakers’ offices, as well as letter deliveries and press conferences to attract local media coverage.

Net neutrality is NOT a partisan issue outside of Washington, DC, and small businesses are the perfect messengers to help lawmakers understand that. Even the most conservative members of Congress have to listen when large numbers of small businesses in their districts are speaking up about an issue that affects their ability to do business.

Keeping the Internet free from throttling, blocking, and new fees is important for all of us, so please help spread the word about this effort. If you run your own business please sign the open letter. And either way, please send this article to any small business owners among your friends and family, and please take a second to share it on Facebook and Twitter.

We believe there's hardly anything as important as ensuring that our shared future has freedom of expression and creativity at its core.

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