American Innovation and Choice Online Act is bad for business

April 12, 2022

As the owner of Ashton Pools in Rehoboth, I am constantly active on my company’s social media through platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to market my business and connect with our customers. As such, I feel obligated to express my worries about the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. Small business owners across the First State have battled unforeseen challenges since the start of the pandemic, many of which have utilized the same services I do to stay afloat, which are now being threatened.

Increased digitalization is likely a lasting feature of the pandemic, and it is important to ensure that businesses have continued access to the digital tools critical to their operations. Despite that fact, Congress is currently trying to implement tech regulation legislation, called the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992/HR 3816), that will disrupt access to those digital tools at a perilous time in our economic recovery when public health restrictions may resurface.

S. 2992/HR 3816 would prohibit platforms prioritizing their own products and services; free shipping with Amazon Prime could disappear, and apps like Google Maps, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn will be harder and more expensive to access. This bill would make it harder for local customers to easily find information about their neighborhood businesses, like my own, through Google search. 

With the persistent uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and its variants, now is not the time to expose businesses to new costs or burdens. Congress should stand up for their constituent businesses and oppose S. 2992/HR 3816.

Nicole Bailey Ashton
Vice president, Ashton Pools by Design
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