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IN THE NEWS: ON THE SENATE FLOOR
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Coastal Tool On the Senate Floor
The Internet Tax Bill was debated on the Senate floor on October 7th, 1998. Coastal Tool was mentioned in the debate as an example of how small "brick and mortar" businesses can successfully compete in a global economy. Here is an edited version of the unofficial transcript.

Sen. Lieberman (Connecticut)
Here is a startling story. Coastal Tool &151; I've been there (Sen. Lieberman held a TV press conference concerning this legislation at Coastal Tool). It's a small, family-run hardware store in Hartford, CT. (Coastal) was threatened, interestingly, by a location nearby of one of the large chain hardware stores and it was having a hard time. They decided to go on the Internet, in a sense to leap over the big competitor down the street &151; I think it was Home Depot, but it doesn't matter. They...hired a very able young man, skilled in computer matters, and put their catalog essentially on the Internet. Internet sales have grown almost 500%. This is what the future holds and it is a situation, if we do it right, where not only the big companies, but a lot of "mom and pop" stores and businesses are going to be able to benefit from Internet sales.

Sen. Wyden (Oregon)
I want to say that I think the Senator has made an especially effective approach and tell him that the hardware store account that you gave is essentially what this legislation is all about. Now there's been discussion about, you know, who benefits here and huge corporations and the like. The people who benefit here are the 100,000 home based businesses in my state. The hardware store that the Senator from Connecticut is talking about and the reason why that's the case is that the Internet is a great equalizer for those small businesses. What the gentleman was talking about with respect to that hardware store account was why I introduced this legislation in early 1997. That was the very kind of operation that I think we ought to be looking to grow in the 21st century and I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time. I heard his account of that hardware store in the cloakroom and I think some have said, in fact, I heard again today that this was about amazon.com or someone like that.

Sen. Lieberman (Connecticut)
I want to end with one story that the Senator from Oregon has stimulated in my memory that I heard when I visited that hardware store. It shows you how you cannot only jump over the big store down the block, but into the global shopping mall. One of their favorite stories, and this is not a pure market example, because the particular customer I'm about to refer to is from a Middle Eastern country, (who) happened to work for his country's national airlines so his trip here was paid for. He needed some heavy tools and went on the Internet, found his way to Coastal Tool's web site, (found it) competitively priced, figured out what the advantage was on the flight to New York. (He)... got off the plane, rented a truck, drove to Hartford, bought the tools that he needed, drove back, put them on the plane and went back to the Middle East.

Senator Lieberman's web site release

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