Mail delays hurting local small business owners

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — If you’ve been receiving less mail or late packages, you’re not alone. The U.S. Postal Service is experiencing delays all over the country.

“I’ve had a couple packages that have not shown up yet. It’s been over two weeks now,” said Alex Pegg, a Greensboro resident.

Olivia Byrd paid extra to send old photos to a family member in Georgia. 

“I was told that they would receive it on Saturday. Saturday came and went, and it wasn’t received. The following Saturday came and went, and it wasn’t received,” Byrd explained.

The USPS attributes the delays to shortages in transportation and staffing from COVID-19. 

 “We are trying to get people to write as many letters as possible,” said Steve Mitchell, co-owner of Scuppernong Books.

Mitchell oversees the bookstore in downtown Greensboro. He’s encouraging people to write Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

“He’s our neighbor. He lives in our community. We often think of politicians or people who make these kinds of decisions living far away. He doesn’t. He lives right here,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell’s felt the effects of recent postal delays, and it’s starting to hurt his bookstore. Sending books through the USPS saves money.

“Lots of small businesses rely on certain postage rates that are considerably cheaper. Every commercial business that’s not like a restaurant on this street uses the postal service to mail out product. Every single one,” Mitchell said of Elm Street. 

He’s worried if these delays stick around, small business owners could be losing even more sales during the pandemic.

“You can’t afford to send things through other carriers if you’re just a small business sending one or two things at a time,” Mitchell said.

Postmaster General DeJoy announced earlier this week he would be restructuring how the postal service operates.

Until mail service returns to normal, Mitchell says he remains skeptical. 

“People in rural communities get medicines by mail, who get important things by mail that they need and can’t have a 10-day delay,” Mitchell said.

The new postal service model will be based on three core business strategies: retail and delivery, logistics and processing and commerce and business.

FOX8 tried reaching out to DeJoy for comment and were referred back to his statements made in Friday’s news release

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