Owning and operating a family farm holds more than its fair share of challenges. Farmers often must operate on the slimmest of profit margins. In order to supplement their income, many farm families choose to run small businesses like farm markets that sell directly to the local public. In doing so, while we hope to make additional income, we’re faced with additional costs as well. One of the most frustrating is being forced to watch big banks get fat off the backs of small market owners in the form of swipe fee payments.
In order to provide convenience for our customers, farm markets often find it necessary to allow customers to use credit or debit cards. Swipe fees are charges a retailer must pay a credit card company every time a customer uses a card to make a purchase.
In 2010, Congress acted in a bipartisan way to forbid these companies from charging small businesses incredibly high fees. These big credit card companies are now leading a movement in Washington, D.C. to get rid of swipe fee reform in the Financial CHOICE Act, causing the cost of accepting debit cards to skyrocket for U.S. businesses like our farm markets. In turn, this will drive up costs for consumers. Without swipe fee protection, there will be no competition between big name card companies. Lack of competition enables these Wall Street giants to take more of our profits per transaction fee than ever before.
Our farm has been family-owned and operated for generations. An increase of this nature will send shock waves throughout the small business marketplace. Some businesses may not survive. That’s why I am asking Congressman Dave Joyce and the entire Ohio delegation to stand with Ohio small businesses, not with credit and debit card companies on Wall Street. Small businesses need swipe fee protection maintained.
Contributed By: Rachel Vonderhaar. Ms. Vonderhaar serves as President of Ohio Agri-Women and farms at Vonderhaar Farms Inc., in Camden, Ohio.