As president and CEO of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, I can tell you that debit card swipe fees are one of the biggest costs our members face. That is why we must ensure that Congress does not repeal the swipe fee protections that keep those fees at manageable levels.
Since 2010, these protections have practically halved the skyrocketing fees our restaurateurs were required to pay on every debit card purchase. This has helped our members, who already operate on extremely thin margins. They’ve not only saved money, but used those savings to hire more employees, thereby benefiting our local economy, too.
If Congress is successful in repealing these swipe-fee protections, our restaurants, which expect to generate more than $18 billion a year in sales this year, will lose money and business opportunities. Growth will slow, as will profits. The only ones to win will be the banks, who’ll earn an extra $8.5 billion a year from the increased fees.
We need U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry’s help to keep these protections in place. It’s time to put Main Street need over Wall Street greed. We can’t afford to let the big banks win again.
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Lynn D. Minges
President and CEO, N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association