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75% of small businesses say postal strike will affect overall efficiency

By CO Staff @canadaone |

It has been a week since Canada Post workers began a series of walkouts starting in Winnipeg. In that time, 20 different locations (and counting) across Canada have been affected by the strike, and the pivotal question of "where's next" has seen Canada Post's mail volume decrease by 50 per cent.

But beyond rent cheques, bills, and letters to mom getting held up in the delivery process, small businesses across Canada are all too aware of the effects of the current postal strike.

An ongoing survey being conducted by CanadaOne is asking small businesses to weigh in on the impacts that the postal strike is having on them. The current sample of around 50 SMBs has yielded some interesting results.

Efficiency down

Somewhat suprisingly, out of six options listed, efficiency was the greatest concern. 

Just under 75 per cent of respondents believe that the strike will negatively affect their company's overall efficiency.

Because such an overwhelming majority of small businesses rely on direct mail to perform important businesses functions, the slowing of service significantly hinders the ability to be timely.

The fact that people have no way of telling in advance if their area will be hit by a walkout hasn't helped either. Customers and businesses alike aren't willing to take the risk of using Canada Post, and with mail delivery slated to be cut back to only Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as of June 13th, this doesn't look like it will change.

Many owners don't see other courier services as a viable option. One respondent noted: "90 per cent of my small business orders that are placed are shipped through Canada Post and about 50 per cent of them are shipped to the US. If I cannot ship via CP for an oversized lettermail package at the price I pay now, then I will no longer be able to ship."

Owners who conduct much of their business online also felt that alternative couriers would be too much of an increase in cost.

"I can't ship a single item without Canada Post... I can sell my product in shops, but all my online sales will plummet as I cannot afford to ship my $30-$40 product with a $20 courier shipping fee," one respondent said.

Another respondent who runs a small online shop said that they will be unable to ship any items while the strike is going on due to cost, a concern echoed by a handful of greeting card and mail order businesses.

While the extent that the strike affects businesses is dependent on a number of factors, such as the industry the company is in, the general consensus is that it will ultimately have negative impacts on efficiency for small businesses in Canada.

This article is the first in a series that will summarize the results of our ongoing postal strike survey. Please let us know your opinion by participating in our survey.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to visit CanadaOne's article knowledge base for more informative articles.

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