Post Office Predicament and Your Business

The U.S. Post Office had announced that it would close about 3,700 of its rural locations starting the week of May 13. Now it has backed off from this action, for now. Instead, it has said it will make other cuts, such as reducing hours in its offices and offering early retirement to postmasters — starting in September 2014. The move is designed to help the fiscally-troubled agency continue to operate as usual (albeit with these changes). In the meantime, Congress is considering various moves to bailout the agency that has growing financial problems due to escalating obligations to retirees and slowing use of first-class mail.

Would you be impacted by cutbacks?

Many businesses have switched to e-mail for sending correspondence (e.g., invoices, letters, contracts, etc.). Others use private delivery services (e.g., UPS and FedEx) for shipping some packages expeditiously. For these businesses, shorter hours, fewer days of delivery, and other cutbacks by the USPS will hardly be noticed.

However, other small businesses continue to use various postal services. They may, for convenience, have post office boxes to receive mail and packages. They continue to use direct mail services for reaching out to customers and prospects.

Into which category does your business fall? Would you be seriously or even mildly impacted by cutbacks by the post office, or would you not be affected at all?

Do you support a federal bailout?

It would be nice if the federal government helped small businesses that were on the ropes; it hasn’t done this. I question whether it makes sense to spend precious taxpayer dollars on a business whose model is antiquated; increased use of e-mail isn’t likely to diminish and the declining revenues from stamp sales will surely continue. Why prop up a buggy whip business? Anyway, that’s my opinion.

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