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Month: June 2020

KYIV IS AMONG THE TOP 10 CITIES WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT OF THE SHARING ECONOMY

Kyiv is among the ten cities with the best level of development of sharing services. The assessment was conducted on the level of access to such services as Uber and Airbnb, electronic scooters, applications for sharing professional cars, the ability to rent a car from private owners, as well as access to all gyms in Kyiv from a single mobile application. The results of the rating were published by the Consumer Choice Center.

In particular, the best sharing services are developed in Tallinn, Vilnius, Riga, Warsaw, Kyiv, Sao Paulo, Tbilisi, and other cities.

According to the authors of the rating, it is the first of its kind and its purpose is to inform consumers about which cities best provide the greatest variety of services of sharing nature and guarantee easy access to them.

Read more here


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Consumers and Bar/Restaurant Owners say “YES” to HB 536

The Consumer Choice Center endorses a safe and timely return to business for areas with a lower risk for coronavirus outbreak

Raleigh, N.C. – Yesterday, the NC State Senate passed HB 536, the bill intended to safely re-open bars and restaurants in accordance with the guidelines set by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Yaël Ossowski, Deputy Director of the Consumer Choice Center said:

“Giving business owners the legal means to safely open and serve customers is now a necessity,” said Ossowski. “Establishments in high-risk areas should be advised to remain closed until health authorities say otherwise, but that decision must be with business owners.

“We all recognize the risks from the spread of COVID-19, but we must now trust that both owners of bars and restaurants and consumers will be responsible and follow the guidelines set by state and federal authorities.

“A one-size-fits-all approach for the entire state, in which cities and counties face all the same restrictions despite differing numbers of cases, is no longer tenable after more than two months of lockdown,” said Ossowski.

“This bill includes provisions for reopening safely in both outdoor and inside spaces, as well as endorsing modernized alcohol policy that favors all consumers and residents of North Carolina. Gov. Cooper should sign this bill and give North Carolinians renewed confidence to safely re-engage in commerce.”

“The Legislature should also look to make permanent changes to our alcohol laws to better empower consumers and offer them more choice. Loosening restrictions on how food and drink establishments can serve, offer, and deliver their products should be immediately taken into consideration,” said Ossowski.

More about our proposal for Modernized Alcohol Policies here.

The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

Originally published here.

[Marketing Medium] Alberta’s Vaping Regulations Are A Huge Step Backwards For Harm Reduction

“The new regulations fly in the face of harm reduction principles, specifically that the government should regulate products based on their risk to consumers. We know from credible health agencies like Public Health England that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, which calls into question Alberta’s approach. Rather than enact heavy handed restrictions, it would be wiser for Alberta to follow the United Kingdom’s lead and embrace harm reduction. Embracing harm reduction gives adult smokers a means to quit cigarettes, which is a huge win for public health.”

source http://meltwater.pressify.io/publication/5ed6d1c88185c80004f2b021/5aa837df2542970e001981f6

[Marketing Medium] Alberta’s Vaping Regulations Are A Huge Step Backwards For Harm Reduction

“The new regulations fly in the face of harm reduction principles, specifically that the government should regulate products based on their risk to consumers. We know from credible health agencies like Public Health England that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, which calls into question Alberta’s approach. Rather than enact heavy handed restrictions, it would be wiser for Alberta to follow the United Kingdom’s lead and embrace harm reduction. Embracing harm reduction gives adult smokers a means to quit cigarettes, which is a huge win for public health.”

from Consumer Choice Center https://ift.tt/2yXVnlz

SHARING ECONOMY WAITING FOR NORMALCY – PREFERABLY WITHOUT REGULATIONS

Businesses focusing on the rental of cars, apartments and certain services aren’t going through their best moment after being hit by ‘the new normality’, in which social distancing is essential.

Two months ago, sharing economy, or the collaborative economy businesses (where customers rely on each other to meet needs) were seen as the perfect model for a more sustainable future, despite always being wrapped in controversy.

According to the PwC consultancy, it was estimated that companies in the five most important sectors of Europe’s collaborative economy would generate approximately 300 billion euros by 2025. The figure is over ten times higher than the 28 billion euros produced in 2015. But now, the financial model for the sharing economy could be heading to the crisis.

Read more here


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

We Need the Gig Economy Now More Than Ever

Forced to limit our social interactions to get through this pandemic, millions of us are using apps and online services to try to bring some measure of normalcy and convenience to our lives.

Demand for food and alcohol delivery is through the roof and thousands of other platforms are still popular and ripe for a comeback once restrictions and lockdowns are lifted.

But for many users and consumers, the pandemic is revealing the very real regulatory problems limiting the sharing economy.

Especially now, we need functioning and smart laws that empower those who use the gig economy, not penalize them. This is especially true for low-income Americans, who are more than likely to use these services to supplement their incomes or save money.

In California, the sweeping law that went into effect in January classifies practically all workers as employees. This measure has, as predicted, practically wiped out the state’s 5 million freelancers and contractors, removing their ability to gain independent income.

Instead of hiring freelancers full-time, companies have been eliminating positions or leaving the state altogether.

Musicians, freelance journalists and rideshare drivers, who once benefitted from their independent status, have found it more difficult to make a living. It’s no surprise that practically every industry has been jockeying for an exemption and a rewrite of the law is eminent.

For home sharing, local jurisdictions have placed caps on the number of properties available for short-term rentals, curtailing the supply. New York City and Seattle require hosts to obtain both business and rental licenses that can cost thousands of dollars.

In cities such as Des Moines and Las Vegas, rental properties cannot be within 600 feet of each other, and countless others require audits of how many guests can be in each bedroom. That’s put homeowners in a pinch, and revealed the lobbying efforts behind those restrictions.

Too often, regulators and politicians have folded to the demands of the industries that once held monopolies over hospitality services, such as hotels and car rental agencies.

In many states, for instance, rental car companies have banded to severely restrict peer-to-peer car-sharing apps, such as Turo and Getaround, which allow car owners to rent out their vehicles to drivers for reasonable rates.

In states like Florida and Arizona, Enterprise and National Car Rental have succeeded in lobbying to ban these apps from offering vehicles at prime locations such as airports and requiring them to collect rental car fees.

These are the types of restrictions and anti-consumer laws that are not only holding back the gig economy but are threatening its existence altogether.

Of course, the effects of the pandemic on the sharing economy cannot be overstated. The behemoth sharing economy companies such as Airbnb, Uber and Lime are struggling with fewer people traveling and using their services. But that is not how we should measure the success of the gig economy.

The promise of the sharing economy has never been about gains on Wall Street, bold corporate executives or even profits for investors. It is not about a single company’s bottom line or its market share. Rather, it has always been about offering new and innovative options to empower people like you and me to improve our lives.

The sharing economy empowers both consumers and entrepreneurs to creatively and collaboratively use or lend resources they otherwise wouldn’t. That allows people to earn additional income as owners and save money as users.

Whether it is ridesharing, carsharing, home sharing, the sharing of tools, or e-scooter rentals, the regulations on the sharing economy should not make them more difficult to use or from which to profit.

If regulators want to help consumers and owners, they should take legislative steps to legalize or ease restrictions on all sharing economy services. Giving people more access to sharing economy services would provide much-needed income to families in need and would help reduce costs for millions more.

The question is not whether the gig economy should be regulated or not. It is whether it is accessible or not. Reasonable and smart regulation would solve those issues.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

თბილისი გაზიარებითი ეკონომიკის მხრივ მსოფლიოს 10 ყველაზე მეგობრულ ქალაქს შორის მოხვდა

თბილისი გაზიარებითი ეკონომიკის მხრივ მსოფლიოს 10 ყველაზე მეგობრულ ქალაქს შორის მოხვდა. საერთაშორისო ორგანიზაცია “Consumer Choice Center”-მა გამოაქვეყნა ინდექსი, რომელშიც შეფასებულია მსოფლიოს 52 დინამიური ქალაქი მათი ღიაობის მიხედვით გაზიარებითი ეკონომიკისადმი.

ინდექსი თავის მხრივ პირველია და გამოყენებულ იქნება მომხმარებელთა ინფორმირებისთვის, თუ რომელი ქალაქი უზრუნველყოფს უკეთ ეკონომიკის ამ მოდელზე აგებული სერვისების მრავალფეროვნებას და მხარს უჭერს მომხმარებელთა მიერ მათ ხელმისაწვდომობას.

ინდექსის მიხედვით პირველ ათეულში შევიდნენ: ტალინი, ვილნიუსი, რიგა, მოსკოვი, სანქტ-პეტერბურგი, ვარშავა, კიევი, სან-პაულუ, თბილისი და ჰელსინკი.

Read more here


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Revealed World’s Top 10 Sharing Economy Friendly Cities

Today, the Consumer Choice Center launched its Sharing Economy Index highlighting some of the world’s most dynamic cities by their sharing economy friendliness.

The index is the first of its kind and should be used to inform consumers about which city is doing the best job providing the greatest variety of sharing economy services and ensures easy access to them.

The top 10 cities according to the index are Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Warsaw, Kyiv, São Paulo, Tbilisi, and Helsinki. On the other hand, Prague, Dublin, Amsterdam, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Sofia, Tokyo, The Hague, Luxembourg City, and Athens found themselves at the very bottom of the list.


Maria Chaplia, European Affairs Associate at the Consumer Choice Center, said the ranking demonstrates the availability of sharing economy services along with ease of access to users. The cities that score lowest have chosen excessive regulation over the interest of consumers thereby significantly limiting their consumer choice.

“The sharing economy has transformed our lives in a variety of ways. Booking holiday accommodation via flat-sharing platforms and grabbing our phone to order a rideshare when we are late to a meeting is a habit many of us share. But now, those benefits to consumers are often undermined by excessive regulation and taxation. 

“The current COVID-19 pandemic has shown both how much the sharing economy has helped consumers access essential goods and services, while at the same time revealing the very real restrictions and regulations that undermine them,” said Chaplia.

“Spirited protests of taxicab drivers have spread all across the globe, and there is a good reason for that: excessive regulation. In every city analysed (except Kyiv), one must have a taxi driver’s licence to provide taxi services. The fear of competition has taken taxicab drivers to the streets and, in the end, resulted in even tighter regulation of ride-hailing services. Consumers benefit from fair and equitable competition. Less regulation of both traditional taxi services and ride-hailing means more consumer choice,” added Chaplia.

“Overall, three Baltic cities lead the way as the most sharing economy friendly. Estonia is well-known for its booming digital state, and the fact there is even a carpooling app for kids reinforces this fact. All top 10 cities score high when it comes to flat-sharing, meaning that they do not overburden this important part of the sharing economy with city taxes or special permit requirements.”

“The point system we developed for this index provides great insight into what cities you should consider if you would like to enjoy the outstanding variety of sharing economy services,” said Chaplia.

“In order to prevent a negative consumer experience, we examined 52 of the world’s most dynamic cities and ranked them in terms of availability and access to ride-hailing, flat-sharing services, e-scooters, professional car sharing, peer-to-peer car rental, and gym sharing,” added Chaplia.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

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