December 19, 2009

The Credit Card Con - Small Business in SLC

Credit card transactions are quickly becoming the norm for business owners in the US. You may have noticed signs at businesses alerting you to a credit card transaction fee or denoting a minimum purchase price for credit card use. These strategies are used to counter the processing fees charged to business owners who wish to use credit cards in their transactions.

Large businesses like Wal-Mart get discounts on their transaction fees because they process so many cards per day. But small businesses get charged a higher percentage per transaction to compensate for the fewer transactions. This means that small businesses with slimmer profit margins and smaller revenue streams are being charged more than large companies.

I was hired by Dave Owen of Owen Communications LLC to find small business owners and conduct brief interviews about their opinions of the unbalanced credit card policies. Furthermore they all asked Senator Bennett of Utah to support legislation against higher fees for small businesses.

Dave Smith owns Shop 'n Go market in Salt Lake City. Due to the nature of convenience store purchases, says he actually loses money on small items purchased with credit cards.

Craig Buchi of Craig's Service Center in Salt Lake, says that his largest expense is credit card transaction fees.

Emigration Market owner and Salt Lake City Councilman JT Martin discusses the rising frequency of credit card transactions and the impact on his business.

All of these videos were spontaneous, middle of the day interviews with no preparation whatsoever. I'm very impressed with the way my camera handled 3 different lighting conditions in 3 different environments. The footage doesn't look as good as it would with a full lighting setup, but for a run 'n gun deal they look great. Another important thing is they don't look staged. I literally went in and talked to these guys for about as long as the video takes. It's raw and rough but then again, so is the state of small business.

To learn more about the legislation against high transaction fees, visit

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