Some local shops won't pass on their credit card fees

7:51 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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ROCKY RIVER -- Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy. And even though Northeast Ohio is one of the best at shopping local, using your credit card could pose more problems.

Every time you use a credit card, that store gets hit with a fee. Last week, we told you that new credit card rules allow small business owners to pass credit card fees along to consumers. But the big question is: will they?

"We did received a notice that fees and rates were going up, whether it's per swipe or a percentage of the amount you're transacting as well," says Amy Bradford, owner of Amy's Shoes.

Customer service fits perfectly with her business model. But those fitting those larger fees into the budget? That's more difficult.

Nationwide, those fees add up to $30 billion a year. And this last hike in rates came with the tempting new rule -- allowing businesses to pass that fee along to their plastic-using parties, as long as the business posts a sign out, front warning customers of the extra fee.

"You're never going to see that sign at Amy's shoes," says Amy.

Amy's price point might help make up for it. But for other businesses that sell lower priced goods, those little fees add up to a lot in the end.

At the Olive Scene, customers might spend $10 or $15, and most of the time, use a credit card. Each swipe costs the store anywhere from 1 percent to 4 percent.

But co-owner Ann Eren says they'll keep paying it, encouraging people to pay cash and hope customers will keep coming back.

"We do thank people every time they use cash and we're trying to think of some incentives for that," says Ann.

Some states ban the surcharge from being passed on to customers, but Ohio is not one of them.


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