Will The New Credit Card Legislation Help Your Restaurant Business?

Rebecca P. Watkins – The Fork & Spoon

(May 20, 2009)

Across the blogosphere the cries of a “Bill With no Teeth” seems to be the mantra of yesterday’s 90 to 5 passage of new regulations on the Credit Card Industry. Assuaging a voting public already stretched to the limit with insurmountable late fees, ever-soaring interest rates, and decrease in credit lines, the Senate passed almost unanimously a bill that merely pokes at the issues facing individuals and business owners who depend on credit to keep their lives and businesses operational. 

For the small, independent restaurant owner the past year has been a particularly trying time with balancing how to pay vendors for operational supplies and still be able to take home a paycheck. Questioning how to put food on the table both at work and at home has left may independent restaurant owners scrambling for alternative credit sources since the credit card industry has hit, in many cases, more severely the good guys – those people who have paid consistently with historical gains from having done so. Credit lines have been a firewall for small business owners in the past, keeping vendors satisfied and allowing for working capital growth with a less shaky profit and loss statement at year’s end. Now, however, many restaurant owners are struggling to just keep the doors open and are clamoring for just more than cash.

Perhaps in a very small way, the passage of this bill will at least give some breathing room for independent restaurant owners who need time to assess the situation and determine just how to deal with a weakened credit market. By giving more time before penalties or increases set in, the business owner will have some say in his or her company’s cash flow and can direct accordingly.Credit Cards Photo


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