Savannah entrepreneur who constructed enterprise on-line cautions Congress on web rules

This letter was submitted by small business owner Elbi Elm from Savannah.

Congress has increasingly focused its agenda on technology companies and the platforms they create. As a small business owner who has built my business entirely online and has really relied on digital services and tools for the past year, I am writing to provide my perspective on this important debate.

My company, The Culturist Union, an inclusive membership center focused on creative empowerment, is the perfect example of a business that has grown online. In fact, we’ve seen so much success in engaging and expanding our customer base using digital platforms that we’re even planning to open a physical space this summer.

Of course, I recognize that so many other small business owners have had to adjust significantly as the pandemic progressed. When personal operations were frozen in Savannah, employees had to change their business models, communicate using video conferencing platforms, and customers interacting online using ways such as social media. These are all practices that I am familiar with and have used for years.

Since our political leaders, including Congressman Buddy Carter (R-Savannah), consider technology-related guidelines in internet regulation hearings, I hope they consider the stories of small business owners like me who have relied on and within the current online landscape hosted digital tools.

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that the internet isn’t perfect, but lawmakers need to recognize the impact local communities could feel if traffic rules are rewritten.

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