Many companies use digital platforms to get business done, but there are still some operations that need postal deliveries to survive. And for north Iowa’s small-business community, cutbacks at the United States Postal Service could become a problem.
America’s new postmaster general has overhauled some operations, including cutting overtime. That has led to numerous reports of delays in both personal and commercial mail delivery.
Mike Tickal runs a memorabilia store in Mason City. He said they usually ship around 150 items a week. But he said lately, it has taken some of them longer than usual to reach their destination.
Tickal said it hasn’t had a major impact on his operation yet, but some small-business advocates worry owners will lose clients at a time when many are struggling during the pandemic.
The delays also have created concerns about medication deliveries and absentee ballots for elections. The postmaster general defended the recent changes, saying they’re needed to produce more efficiencies for the cash-strapped agency.
The Postal Service says it could lose as much as $11 billion this year. There have been growing calls for a federal rescue, but some in Congress, including President Donald Trump, have resisted that idea and/or favor privatization.
Meanwhile, Package Coalition chairman John McHugh said there is legitimate concern about the viability of some small businesses if these problems linger during what’s expected to be a challenging economic recovery.
Last week, the Senate announced an investigation into the reported delays at the postal service. There also is proposed legislation to create a $25 billion fund to help the agency bounce back from coronavirus-related losses and expenses.