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CFIB launches Credit Free Friday campaign


November 6, 2013
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Nov. 6, 2013, Toronto — Canadians are being encouraged to give their credit cards one day off each week, thanks to a new campaign by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and debt crusader Gail Vaz-Oxlade.

Credit Free Friday calls on Canadian consumers to help small
businesses, and themselves, by paying with Interac Debit or cash
whenever they shop on Fridays.

"Small businesses are finding it
increasingly challenging to absorb the high fees they are charged by the
credit card companies and banks," said Dan Kelly, CFIB president. "Very
few consumers know that $5-7 billion each year in credit card
processing fees is embedded in the cost of everything they buy, and with
ever-higher tiers of premium cards hitting the market, that cost is
only going up. "

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"As consumers are often unaware that the
merchant loses between two and 3.5 per cent of a credit card sale,
Credit Free Fridays can be a great way to support small firms," added
Kelly.

The other side of the credit card issue is that it is also
adding to record-high levels of consumer debt. Recent data from
Statistics Canada shows that the average Canadian now has approximately
$27,000 in consumer debt, not including mortgages. Credit card debt
specifically totaled close to $74 billion Canada-wide in November 2012 –
over $2,000 per capita. The proliferation of credit card reward
programs encourages consumers to use their cards more often, without
always thinking of the consequences.

Federal NDP Consumer critic Glenn Thibeault is a big supporter of the campaign and encourages Canadians to participate.

"Credit
Free Friday is a great way to get consumers thinking about how their
choice of payment can affect their personal finances and small
businesses," said Thibeault.

In addition to calling for a weekly
credit card holiday, the campaign gives small business owners tools that
they can use to gently encourage customers to think about how they pay.
There is also an interactive social media element that asks Canadians
to get creative with ways to put their credit cards on a timeout.

For more information about the campaign, visit www.creditfreefriday.ca.


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