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A new bill may reduce merchant fees for small business owners



Fargo, North Dakota – The difficulties presented by constantly altering merchant fees have long been a problem for small business owners, but a recent bill sponsored in the U.S. Senate hopes to alleviate some of those problems.

Local Fargo business owner Maria Bosak emphasized the hardship that excessive merchant fees place on both customers and businesses.

“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 Credit Competition Act, a piece of proposed legislation that was presented to the U.S. Senate in June, aims to lessen the financial burden on small business owners. Bosak was upbeat about the bill’s possible effects.

“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 got the chance to speak to politicians about the issue earlier this year and was inspired by the response.

“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.”

Many other business owners who are hoping for fee relief share the same sentiment. Owner of Grain Designs in Fargo, Blain Mikkonen, emphasized the potential advantages of reallocating money saved from lower 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.

Business owners support increasing financial institution competition while yet acknowledging the necessity of paying fees. Bosak stressed the need for fairness while emphasizing the readiness to pay appropriate costs.

“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.”

Business owners are eagerly anticipating any advancements that may be made 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.”