7-Eleven Franchisees Convene on Capitol Hill

Retailers ask Congress to stand by small business, uphold swipe fee reform.

On March 30, 7-Eleven franchisees from across Maryland and Virginia met with Senators, Congressmen and staff to ask them to protect and implement the critical swipe fee reforms that were passed by Congress and signed into law by the president last year.

Sen. Jon Tester has introduced an amendment to a small business bill that would delay swipe fee reform for two years–a measure that would cost small businesses $33 million per day and $1 billion per month.

“Swipe fee reform is critical for our survival, and we will not let up,” said Dennis Lane, 7-Eleven franchisee and national spokesman for Reform Swipe Fees NOW!

“Today, on behalf of more than 5,000 7-Eleven franchisees across America, thousands of employees and millions of customers,  my fellow franchisees met with their representatives and held them accountable for the promises they made with the passage of swipe fee reform last year.  They traveled to the nation’s capital and asked for the protection of this critical reform that will benefit real Americans.”

Last year, President Barack Obama signed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a piece of legislation that included an amendment to reform debit card swipe fees that gathered broad bipartisan support, marking a tremendous victory for convenience store owners and other small owners across the country.

In 2009 and 2010, 7-Eleven submitted over 1.6 million petitions signed by franchisees, employees and customers, and conducted dozens of meetings with members of Congress and staff in support of swipe fee reform.

In light of proposed legislation to repeal or delay swipe fee reform, 7-Eleven franchisees’ businesses are under threat once again.  With their livelihood at stake, 7-Eleven franchisees are once again taking time away from their businesses to go to Washington and hold their representatives accountable for swipe fee reform that was passed last year.

“Last year, I paid $11,000 in swipe fees alone,” said Brett Creekmore, a 7-Eleven franchisee in Chesapeake, Va. “That’s money I could use to hire another worker or offer better salaries.  Last year, along with other 7-Eleven franchisees, we delivered millions of petitions, made thousands of phone calls, and sent numerous emails and letters asking for commonsense swipe fee reform. We thought they heard us.”

“Although it was passed into law, we are still fighting for this reform,” Creekmore noted.  “Today I took time off to travel to DC and ask my Senators and Congressman to support small businesses by protecting swipe fee reform, and I’ll come back one thousand more times if I have to.  It is that important for my employees, my customers, and the future of my business.”

Over the next three months, dozens of 7-Eleven franchisees from across the nation will fly to Washington, D.C. to meet with their members of Congress and ask them to keep their promises, stand strong with America’s small businesses and consumers, and to oppose any effort to delay or repeal the swipe fee reform that Main Street small business owners fought so hard for.

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