The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is pressing the UK Government to transform post offices into small business hubs around the country to secure the future of the Post Office Network.
According to a FSB research, small companies use post offices on a daily basis: almost one in five small firms visit the post office every day and almost half (47%) say they visit it a couple of times a week.
The FSB believe the Post Office Network, in order to become financially viable for years to come, should be reshaped into a series of small business hubs with business banking on offer.
Pratically, the FSB proposes to establish a business desk at each post office with trained staff, able to advise businesses on banking, Government services, insurance and sending and receiving parcels, a Business Link service in each post office to give advice to small businesses, offer advertising facilities to help small businesses reach other local businesses and potential customers, a full range of financial services, including business banking; and offer meeting room facilities to start-ups and micro businesses in as many post offices as possible.
Commenting on and explaining the meaning of the proposal, John Wright, National Chairman of the FSB, said: “Post Offices are at the heart of many communities and act not only as a place to send invoices or to collect parcels, but as somewhere for small firms to network, and meet like-minded business men and women as well as potential customers.
“However, small firms are not being given a fully operational service and are severely let down by the lack of business services available. Making post offices into small business hubs –including dedicated business desks and a full range of financial services – will not only ensure the survival of the country’s post offices, but also the communities that they serve.
“The Government has committed to the importance of sustaining local communities and must now step up and support the Post Office to become a small business hub. The sooner this happens, the sooner the Post Office can become financially viable in its own right and small firms will be able to access the service that they deserve”.