Category Archives: Retail

What the Heck is the Durbin Amendment…and how does it affect my business?

Joe Willett, Bloomington Area representative with Chamber member Infintech, helps to answer some questions that local business owners may have surrounding the Durbin Amendment. Although this amendment is supposed to lower fees on debit/check card transactions – there’s still a question:
Will Your Business Get 100% of the Federally Mandated Debit Card Fee Reduction?

Let’s hear from Joe:

You may have recently heard about the passing of the Durbin Amendment through Congress. The Federal Reserve recently issued its final ruling on interchange, or swipe fees on debit card transactions. In a nutshell, this amendment will force the banks to lower interchange fees on Visa & MasterCard debit/check card transactions to near nothing, but not every merchant accepting Debit Card transactions will benefit from this historic interchange fee reduction.

What’s an Interchange Fee?

An interchange fee is the charge assessed on a merchant every time you swipe your debit or credit card. The fee varies widely, depending on the card and the merchant, and is levied to offset the cost of fraud prevention and processing the transaction. Fraudulent charges on a debit card are relatively small, so they command lower swipe fees; signature cards have the largest swipe fees, since they often have the highest credit limits.

What does this amendment mean for consumers?

Banks have already factored in the loss of interchange revenue, and many are levying new fees on checking accounts, raising minimum balance requirements, and ending debit rewards programs. Credit card swipe fees account for 65 percent of the total interchange costs, so the savings from debit swipe fees are unlikely to be noticeable for consumers.

Although this law, effective October 1, is going to reduce the cost to process debit/check cards, it does not necessarily mean that savings will be passed to you as a merchant. Many processors will be the only recipient of these margins, and whether the merchant pockets the savings or if the credit card processor pockets the savings will be determined largely on the type of pricing model the credit card processor has a particular merchant set up on.

The Chamber invites  you to learn more:

To learn the facts about how the Durbin Amendment will impact your business’ bottom line, register online for a no charge webinars that Infintech is hosting that will help guide you through the complicated process of understanding the Durbin Amendment and its possible impact on your business.

Wed, Sep 21, 2011 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM EDT

Register Here!

To speak directly with the Bloomington Area Infintech Representative, Joe Willett, please call 812-568-6397 or email Joe at

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday

Yesterday, Christy Gillenwater, The Chamber’s President and CEO, wrote a post about buying local this holiday season and supporting the Bloomington economy.  Three key days of the holiday shopping season are coming up in the next week, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.  These days provide consumers special discounted pricing to encourage shopping, while also bringing more customers into businesses.  Some of our member’s specials for these “retail holidays” are listed below:

Scotty’s Brewhouse has a promotion going on that gives customers money back for buying gift cards. If a guest buys a $50.00 gift card they will receive $10.00 back. If a guest buys  $100.00 gift card they will receive $25.00 back. Guests that buy $500.00 or more will receive 30% back. In addition to this promotion they will also be running specials on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On these days, customers will receive twice as many bonus bucks back on $50.00 and $100.00 gift cards and 40% back on $500.00 or more. In addition Scotty’s is offering 25% off any products online or in-store.

Another local establishment celebrating the holiday season is Les Champs Elysees Day Spa & Salon. It is offering a 25% discount on all services, all day on Small Business Saturday, November 27th. Men’s and women’s cuts and color are available with Sasha, Kelly D, Liesel, Erin, Misty and Maeve, wax and/or facials with Jacqueline, and massages with Jeremy. In addition, Les Champs Elysees is also offering a 20% discount on gift cards.  Customers may purchase a gift card towards any of our Spa and/or Salon services with a $50 value for $40.  There is a limit of 2 gift cards per client, and only one gift card may be redeemed at a time.

Does your company have a special? Leave a comment and we’ll add it to our list.

Shopping Local for the Economy this Holiday Season

Last month we had the pleasure of co-hosting the 2011 Business Outlook Panel and Lunch, a presentation forecasting the economy in the upcoming year by a panel from the Indiana University The Kelley School of Business. Their forecast was, for the most part, “optimistically pessimistic.” Though my take on our local economy is more along the lines of “cautiously optimistic,” their outlook prompted me to think about our economy, and what, if anything, we can do to stimulate growth. I quickly realized, the holidays are coming up, which presents an excellent opportunity for the local economy to get jump started.

Our area businesses are geared up and ready for the holiday-buying season. Inventory stands ready, as do expectations. Nationally, the buzzwords around this year’s buying season include “lackluster” and “muted”. Such rhetoric does nothing to build consumers’ confidence nor does it encourage shoppers to venture out within their communities to celebrate all their hometowns offer.   Such rhetoric doesn’t help to get the economy rolling.  So while we may not be able to make a major difference in the economy nationally, we all play a role in shaping our local economy by the decisions we make as to where to make our holiday purchases. I challenge you to take an active role by consciously making the decision to stay IN Bloomington and buy local this holiday season. Continue reading