Yesterday I received from Lori Pepper in Nancy Pelosi’s office information on a credit card bill that Congresswoman Nita Lowey will be introducing. I have heard from many of you that this is a major problem for small businesses as outlined below.
Please note the National Small Business Association of which Small Business California is an affiliate member is driving this bill. I spoke to Dana Miller this morning and she said they will not have a bill number for a week or two.
Congresswoman Lowie is looking for other House members to cosponsor. I have been in contact with Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s and Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey’s office to ask them to cosponsor.
I would ask each of you to contact your House member at:
and ask if they would cosponsor. If you do not know your House member this will direct you.
Please let me know what you hear.
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116
From: e-Dear Colleague
Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2011 4:54 PM
Subject: SmallBusiness: Dear Colleague: Protect Small Businesses from Abusive Credit Card Practices
Protect Small Businesses from Abusive Credit Card Practices
From: The Honorable Nita M. Lowey
Sent By: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the National Small Business Association in Protecting Small Businesses from Deceptive and Unfair Credit Card Practices
BE AN ORIGINAL COSPONSOR OF THE SMALL BUSINESS CREDIT CARD ACT of 2011
Small businesses are struggling to obtain and maintain access to credit to cover the purchase of supplies, new inventory and other routine operating expenses. As traditional forms of lending have become unaffordable and hard to acquire, small business owners are forced to rely on credit cards to fund their business. In fact, the National Small Business Association found that 44% of small business owners have used credit cards to help finance day-to-day operations.
Yet small businesses are not afforded the same protections as individuals from abusive and deceptive credit card practices. The Small Business Credit Card Act of 2011 would give our small businesses an even playing field by expanding protections in the Credit Cardholder Bill of Rights to small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. And, if a business owner prefers to keep things the way they are, this bill has an opt-out provision.
To help small businesses create jobs and rejuvenate our economy, we must shield them from unfair interest rate changes, deceptive practices, and unnecessary fees. The Small Business Credit Card Act of 2011 would prevent credit card companies from arbitrarily raising interest rates on small businesses without proper notice and prohibit interest rate increases on existing balances, which makes it even harder for small businesses to make payments. In addition, this bill would prevent unfair fees, prohibit interest charges on debt paid on time, and ensure fairness in payment practices by requiring that any payment over the minimum apply to the balance with the highest interest rate.
I hope you will become an original cosponsor of the Small Business Credit Card Act. If you would like additional information, please contact Dana Miller on my staff at Dana.Miller@mail.house.gov or x56506.
Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Member of Congress