Small businesses such as the deli, the butcher, the ethnic grocery are an important part of what makes Bellingham an interesting and pleasant place to live. You know these businesses. They are the places where the smiling face behind the counter is most likely to be the owner who puts in 10- to 12-hour days running that establishment.
Credit card swipe fees, the fees charged the business every time a customer pays by credit card, can cost those businesses tens of thousands of dollars a year. What is for us just a matter of convenience can easily be the difference between the owner saving for a down payment on a home or to educate his child and saving nothing at all. So when you patronize your favorite deli or ethnic grocery try to remember to pay with cash. It takes little effort to get cash ahead of time. Would you rather see your entire payment go to the business, or a significant part of it to an anonymous and indifferent bank? Pay cash and put a smile on the owner's face; it might even make the difference between the business being there a year from now and not.
Barry G. Hall