Small business owners show support for Durbin-Welch amendment

More than 100 small business owners marched to Capitol Hill to show their support for the Durbin-Welch amendment yesterday.

The proposed amendment would place a cap on the amount of profits credit card companies can make from swipe fees, which have escalated over the years.

Issuers, like Visa and MasterCard, charge roughly 2 percent of a total transaction cost per card payment, according to the National Retail Federation. The fees resulted in nearly $50 million charged for card swipes in 2008.

“Small business owners in Vermont and around the country are suffering from out-of-control swipe fees charged by big banks and credit card companies,” said Congressman Peter Welch. “Congress must stand up to the special interests swarming the Hill this week to kill the Durbin amendment.”

The Durbin-Welch amendment has been met with great opposition from credit card issuers and some state officials. Earlier this month several state treasurers wrote a letter voicing that they are siding with card companies.

Many cash-strapped states issue benefits through pre-paid debit cards and would stand to lose significant amounts of money if card issuers raised other fees in retaliation