Small-shop owners cope with mounting credit-card fees

01/27/2010 | Wall Street Journal, The

Kate Bancroft, owner of Ula Cafe in Jamaica Plain, Mass., asks her customers not to use credit cards unless they plan to spend more than $10 because each swipe of plastic costs her roughly 25 cents. Rising credit-card interchange fees paid by merchants, which totaled $62.7 billion in 2008, are putting more pressure on small businesses like Ula Cafe. The small shops do not want to lose customers by raising prices, yet they are not big enough to wield bargaining muscle to convince credit card issuers to reduce their rates.

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