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U.S. Direct Selling Association Joins West Coast Small Business Summit

The U.S. Direct Selling Association will address the current regulatory environment during this week’s 2016 West Coast Small Business Summit.

The DSA is a sponsor of Thursday’s summit, hosted by The Latino Coalition and the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce. The day’s agenda will focus on “The Rising Latino American Electorate and the 2016 Elections,” with speakers including Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and the Consul General of Mexico in Los Angeles, Carlos Eugenio Garcia de Alba Zepeda.

According to the 2015 DSA Annual Report, Latinos make up a sizable segment—about 20 percent—of direct selling entrepreneurs in the U.S.  Targeted initiatives such as the West Coast Small Business Summit provide an opportunity to advance the conversation about policy issues that impact Latinos and their fellow direct selling entrepreneurs.

“These partnerships give us credible platforms to talk more deliberately about the issues we want to discuss, and that ultimately helps us when we need to present our case to policymakers and others about the value of direct selling, and why we continue to support this business—and the millions of people involved in it,” said Paul Skowronek, DSA Senior Vice President, Public Affairs.

In addition to sponsoring the event, the DSA will be represented by Adolfo Franco, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, who will take part in a panel on the current regulatory climate at the federal level. The panel also will explore how new and proposed regulations could impact small business owners, like the independent contractors who participate in direct selling. Skowronek notes that, particularly in California, the “gig economy” and similar opportunities are causing regulators to take a closer look at the independent contractor model.

“Direct selling is a piece of that puzzle,” said Skowronek. “It’s only one piece of a much bigger puzzle, and our goal in participating in the summit is to help people understand some of the issues inherent in a discussion about the independent contractor—not only in California, but nationally as well.”

On the legislative front, priority number one for the DSA is H.R. 5230, an anti-pyramid bill introduced in the House earlier this year by Rep. Marsh Blackburn (R-TN). If passed into law, the bill would clearly define a pyramid scheme in federal statute for the first time. The measure has garnered bipartisan support from 30 members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, Energy & Commerce Committee and Direct Selling Caucus.

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