Women-Owned Businesses in Florida Face Threat from Proposed Legislation

Women-Owned Businesses in Florida Face Threat from Proposed Legislation

Florida is home to more than a million women-owned businesses that have persevered through the pandemic, natural disasters, and continue to serve their communities. However, proposed legislation in the Florida Legislature could pose a threat to the recovery of thousands of these businesses that leverage digital tools to connect with customers.

HB 1547 and its Senate companion, S 262, aim to restrict social media platforms and tech companies that collect user data by mandating that internet users in Florida can “opt-out” of personalized advertising. However, without personalized advertising online, many of Florida’s 3 million small businesses would lose the ability to advertise anywhere.

Personalized ads have proven to be a cost-effective way for small businesses to identify and reach new customers when traditional forms of advertising are too expensive. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, almost 80% of women business owners have or are currently interested in expanding their access to marketing assistance and lead generation through technology and social media.

Without personalized advertisements, these businesses will be unable to reach new customers and compete against established brands. This bill would leave small businesses with an insurmountable problem – the inability to reach already interested consumers.

Nonprofits, charities, and government agencies also benefit from affordable personalized advertising to raise funds, spread awareness, and disseminate public service announcements and share events. Furthermore, personalized advertising is how consumers learn about local businesses, causes, and information in their communities of which they might not be aware otherwise.

The National Association of Women Business Owners urges lawmakers to consider the unintended consequences this bill could have on advertisers with smaller budgets and consumers that find immense value in personalized advertising. We cannot allow progress in our economy to be impeded. Instead, let us help keep the state’s community of women-owned businesses vibrant and successful. Women business owners have overcome numerous challenges over the past few years and should not be held back just as they are getting back on their feet and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.