(Boulder, Colo) PeopleForBikes hosted a bike industry fly-in in Washington, D.C. on March 23. Eight members of the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) met with members of Congress, and senior staff to show the power of the bike industry and advance a pro-bike platform.
The policy focus for this fly-in was preserving debit card reforms that capped fees networks could charge and put in place consumer protections. Congress passed these provisions seven years ago (also known as the Durbin Amendment) saving more than $8 billion annually to retailers and their customers. These reforms brought competition, transparency, security and predictability into the market.
The average bicycle retailer pays an interchange fee on debit card transactions of 24 cents, every time a debit transaction occurs. ?If the debit reforms are removed, analysts predict this fee could double to 45 cents.
“This is my second PeopleForBikes/NBDA fly-in and participating is always a rewarding, learning experience,” said Brandee Leepak of Global Bikes, Arizona and board chair of the NBDA. “Bicycle retailers operate on a slim profit margin and this would eat into our bottom line even more.”
PeopleForBikes organizes the local, state and federal voice of business behind better bicycling in America and the Executive Fly-In Program is a big part of this work. Elected officials need to see a clear picture of how large and influential the bike business is in their districts.
Participant Alex Obriecht of Race Pace Bicycles in Maryland said, ?My goal as a bike retailer is to get as many people on bikes as possible. It was so worthwhile to connect with other retailers like myself and members of Congress, and be able to tell the larger story about the work we do.?
?Interchange fees are one of the largest costs to bicycle retailers. Repealing debit reforms will remove competition resulting in increased cost to retailers and ultimately to our customers,? said Josh Harrod of Tin Shed Sports, Colorado. ?It was an honor to be able to relay this important information to my Colorado representatives.?
As Congress continues to debate preserving the Durbin amendment, retailers across the country should weigh in with their member of Congress to keep caps in place on debit card transactions. Credit card fees are often the second highest cost to retailers after labor and these reforms protect small business, add layers of security and choice, and ultimately protect the consumer. Contact PeopleForBikes or the National Bicycle Dealer’s Association to learn how to help.
PeopleForBikes is uniting millions of individuals, thousands of businesses and hundreds of communities to make better bike riding for everyone. When people ride bikes, great things happen. Join us at PeopleForBikes.org.
PeopleForBikes/NBDA Executive Fly-In participants from left to right – Brandee Leepak, Global Bikes, Arizona; Charles Cooper, PeopleForBikes; Todd Grant, National Bicycle Dealers Association; Stefan Meyer, Kent Cycle, Ohio; Jenn Dice, PeopleForBikes; Alex Obriecht, Race Pace Bicycles, Maryland; Josh Harrod, Tin Shed Sports, Colorado; Steve Fluhr, M&M Cyclery, Illinois; Linda Mack, Silver Cycles, Maryland; and Laurie Lemieux, Proteus Bicycles, Maryland.