NRF Store Tours highlight need for swipe fee reforms

Retailers connect with lawmakers in their districts to call for action on the Credit Card Competition Act

As members of Congress headed back to their districts this fall for a six-week work period, the time at home was an opportunity for retail advocates to connect with Congress through NRF’s Store Tour program. Fourteen retailers and state retail associations hosted meetings and tours with a bipartisan group of lawmakers. These visits centered on sharing retail’s legislative priorities and honoring lawmakers recognized as Champions and Heroes of Main Street for their support of policies that help retailers thrive.

A common topic during the visits was the need to address the unfair U.S. credit card market by passing the Credit Card Competition Act. The bill would make important reforms to the credit card market to increase competition and lower costs by requiring that at least two competing processing networks be enabled on each credit card. Retailers connected with the bill’s two lead sponsors in the House of Representatives, Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Lance Gooden, R-Texas, to thank them for their leadership.

Store tour
Rep. Peter Welch accepts the Champion of Main Street award from members of the Vermont Retailers and Grocers Association.

Welch, who was recently elected to the U.S. Senate, met with the Vermont Retail and Grocers Association on October 5 to discuss issues important to Vermont’s retail community. He also received a Champion of Main Street Award for his leadership to create a fair U.S. payments market for retailers.

“Congressman Welch is among the retail industry’s strongest advocates, affecting positive change for local businesses and his constituents alike,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says. “As a fierce proponent of swipe fee transparency and credit card competition, NRF is proud to recognize his leadership through the 2022 ‘Champion of Main Street’ Award.”

In Canton, Texas, on October 19, Gooden participated in a store tour of grocer Brookshire’s and was presented with a Hero of Main Street award by the Texas Retailers Association. “Congressman Gooden has long been a steadfast ally for our industry, our employees and our customers,” TRA Executive Director John McCord says. “As an advocate of swipe fee transparency and credit card competition, TRA is proud to stand alongside Congressman Gooden as he fights for retailers across Texas.”

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“I am honored to be recognized as a Hero of Main Street and will always prioritize local businesses in Texas over big banks on Wall Street,” Gooden says. “Congress must act to protect these businesses from the credit card duopoly, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to put Main Street America first.”

Other lawmakers who participated in these visits include Senator Tom Carper, D-Del., Representative Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., Representative Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, Representative Dan Bishop, R-N.C., and Representative Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn.

NRF Store Tours are important opportunities for retailers to weigh in directly with members of Congress and educate them on how the policies they consider in Washington, D.C., directly impact retail businesses, employees and communities. We encourage all retailers to learn more about this program and consider hosting their lawmakers at their stores in the new year.

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