By JOYCE M. ELLIS
I am sure I am not the only American frustrated by the rocky climb out of the recession and wondering how to get the attention of Washington and Wall Street with a direct message from across the nation.
I believe I have a way to impress them both with a very simple plan that we can all do as much or little as we want to. It is entirely legal and will be welcomed by small businesses everywhere.
All we need to do is to use cash, or debit cards instead of credit cards for a specific period of time. I suggest the last week of July. July 25 through August 1. It will coordinate with the Debt Limit vote and the results of our not using credit cards will have made a difference.
How does it make a difference? Simple! Every time you use credit the business pays a premium to the card company – commonly 5 percent. That is a direct charge to the small business. If you are planning a dinner out get the cash from a “fee free” ATM and pay in cash. That will put the 5 percent in the pocket of your local bistro instead of the bank and the bank will not get the dollar or two from the fee.
You don’t need to be a Wall Street Banker or a CPA to see the dollar amount is enough to grab the attention of, not only the banks, but our elected officials as well. If you need to use credit for a big purchase or online, you can still do that, but if you can do it sooner or later that would help get the message out.
This is not a political statement, Republicans and Democrats and even Tea Party supporters want to put more money in the pockets of small businesses and voters alike.