POTTSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Local small businesses are feeling the effects of a nationwide postal service slowdown.
Eyewitness News reporter Rachael Espaillat explains how the delays are impacting business and their worry if this trend continues.
The U.S. Postal Service has been a lifeline for small businesses like Mud and Maker in downtown Pottsville.
“The sole reason we’ve been able to not only survive but thrive during COVID is shipping through the post office,” Stephanie Premich, owner of Mud and Maker, said.
The pandemic forced the local pottery shop to close its physical location in March. The brick and mortar store has yet to reopen so all their business now comes from online orders.
“On top of corona and everything going on with the post office, you need to be patient with your local small businesses and you just make sure that you give a little extra time when you are ordering things,” Premich said.
The shop sells wholesale products to nearly 200 stores across the country. Recently customers in the tri-state area are receiving their orders a day or two late. Customers further out are waiting much longer. These delays are a result of financial troubles USPS has been battling for years.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is making major cuts after the agency has spent billions of dollars on overtime transportation fees over the last fiscal year even though performance ratings lacked.
DeJoy said in a statement “The fundamental conclusion that we need to redouble our efforts to focus on our plans to improve operational efficiency and to further control overtime expenditures.”
Locals fear what will happen if services don’t improve before holiday season.
“On a good year things get delayed. And now with sorting machines being taken out and staff cuts and things like that, it will get real bad,” Premich said.
Postmaster General DeJoy announced earlier Tuesday that the postal service will suspend some operational changes until after the election.