In short: Amazon is launching Storefronts today, which is a small section of its website that will be dedicated to selling products from small businesses located in the US. These small businesses come from all 50 of the States in the US, and include things in all sorts of categories like back to school, Halloween, Electronics and much more. This launch also coincides with Amazon's latest ad campaign highlighting Storefronts which will have over a million products from 20,000 different small businesses.
Background: For many years, it was said that Amazon was putting small businesses out of business. This is because a small business with five employees can't really compete with Amazon, given the fact that Amazon offers free two-day shipping for Prime members, and their prices are far lower than most of their competitors, on top of that. Now, Amazon is giving these small businesses a place where they can flourish and make money. Half of the items already sold on Amazon come from small and medium-sized businesses, so this isn't really anything new for Amazon, it is just highlighting more products from small businesses now.
Impact: This new webpage on Amazon should help small businesses gain more spotlight and thus sell more products. The page is actually already live, and you can check it out right here. It allows you to sort by category and find something that you might be interested in. It's a pretty good idea for Amazon to do this, giving these small businesses a virtual storefront, basically. Storefronts will also showcase a different small business each week, and there will be a blurb about the business owner, so you can really get to know the person that owns and runs that small business. So it feels more like you are shopping at the small businesses in your neighborhood or town.