JCNF Press ReleaseOctober 13, 2023

As Main Street Navigates ‘Bidenomics,’ Popularity of Free Market Credit Card Reform is High

Washington, D.C. (October 13, 2023– Today, the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF) released its September edition of the Small Business IQ Poll of 400 small business employers. The Small Business Intelligence Quotient (SBIQ), an index tracking overall sentiment about the economy, increased by 2.1 points to 54.6. That’s tied for the second lowest reading this year.

Small business owners remain uneasy about the economy with inflation remaining one of the top two concerns for 48 percent of respondents. And the Biden administration’s efforts to combat rising prices are having severe unintended consequences. Seventy-six percent of small employers are concerned about accessing credit because of rising interest rates, a 10-point jump compared to the previous month.

Additionally, Main Street is supportive of legislative efforts that would rein-in run-away credit card “swipe fees” that are plaguing small businesses. You see, anytime a customer uses a credit card to make a purchase, merchants are forced to pay a fee to the credit card company and bank—a ballooning expense that amounted to nearly $130 billion in 2022.

A majority of small businesses that accept credit cards are concerned about “swipe fees” with an overwhelming 78 percent of respondents supporting congressional action that would lower prices. More specifically, small employers are supportive of bipartisan federal legislation called the Credit Card Competition Act, which would bring down costs for Main Street by fostering free market competition within the payments arena.

View more polling details and crosstabs here.

Elaine Parker, President of the Job Creators Network Foundation, released the following statement:

“As small businesses continue to navigate the realities of ‘Bidenomics’—notably grappling with high interest rates as the Federal Reserve attempts to rein in ‘Bidenflation’—Main Street is searching for a lifeline. And according to our polling, free market credit card reform to lower ‘swipe fees’ is one policy that has caught their attention. Main Street has been held hostage by ballooning ‘swipe fees’ for years and the bipartisan Credit Card Competition Act would level the playing field for small businesses by fostering competition within the payments arena. Competition works in most other areas of the economy, so why not here?”