FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) – Small business owners have long grappled with the challenges posed by ever-changing merchant fees, but a recently introduced bill in the U.S. Senate aims to provide some relief.
Maria Bosak, a local business owner in Fargo, highlighted the burden high merchant fees impose on both businesses and consumers.
“That’s a real big burden on business owners and a burden on consumers,” Bosak said. “The fees can start at 2%, and we’ve even been hit with 10% lately.”
The proposed legislation, introduced to the U.S. Senate in June, known as the Credit Competition Act, seeks to alleviate the financial strain on small business owners. Bosak expressed optimism about the potential impact of the bill.
“So this act would make it fair for us to process credit cards, and it would reduce that fee on business owners.” Bosak said.
Bosak had the opportunity to address lawmakers on the matter earlier this year and felt encouraged by the reception.
“We got good reception, and we do feel like the bill is going to be passed,” Bosak said. “We just want more awareness about it.”
The sentiment resonates with numerous other business owners who are hopeful for fee relief. Blain Mikkonen, owner of Grain Designs in Fargo, highlighted the potential benefits of reallocating funds saved from reduced fees.
“Reallocating those funds, either giving it back to the customer or anything else, it kind of opens up profitability a little bit to expand and keep growing.” Mikkonen stated.
While business owners acknowledge the necessity of paying fees, they also advocate for increased competition among financial institutions. Bosak emphasized the willingness to pay reasonable fees but underscored the need for fairness.
“We are happy paying a fee to banks, we are happy to pay to Visa and MasterCard for using their products, but it’s unfair to be forced to pay such a large fee,” Bosak said. “As a business owner, to say we’re not going to take credit cards, there would be a riot.”
Anticipation runs high among business owners as they look forward to potential progress on the bill.
“I think we’ll see it attached to another bill. I think we’ll start seeing relief next year if it’s passed,” Bosak said. “Consumers will benefit because I think they’ll see prices come down on everything from groceries to furniture to clothing, everything.”
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