The imminent closing of 250 USPS offices and distribution centers next month is causing nerves to spread amongst small business owners.
The US Postal Service is planning to shut down the offices and centers in a bid to make cuts and save money. On May 15, the closures will go ahead unless Congress intervenes.
Yet owners of small businesses say that shutting down their local mail-processing hubs will hit their livelihoods, causing small firms to go through a difficult adjustment, or even close down entirely.
The marvelously named beach town of Pass-a-Grille, Fla. lost its 104-year-old post office in June 2011, and many small businesses have suffered as a result. It didn’t help that the next closest post office was roughly four miles away. Barbara Calicotte, an employee at a boutique called Bamboozle, told WIBW:
“The other post office is always crowded. I’ve had to wait on line for 30 minutes.”
Another problem, explains Calicotte, is that packages have had to sit in the store a day or two longer, meaning customers could turn elsewhere. In short, it’s not just a matter of inconvenience: the cliché of ‘time is money’ rings true. Pass-a-Grille Mayor Tommy Battle is a former businessman himself, and pointed out:
“A mail delay of three or four days could mean lost sales. So many small businesses today still aren’t tech savvy and depend on direct mail to market their products and services.”
While Calicotte and Battle are just two voices protesting the closure of their local post office, they are far from alone: across the nation, offices in 41 different states could be closed down.