Small-Business Groups Rip USPS

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Two groups representing small businesses slammed the U.S. Postal Service for mismanagement this week.

The Small Business Survival Committee yesterday criticized the postal service's "Real People. Real Success" advertising campaign targeting small businesses.

Though the USPS is reaching out to small business with the effort, "it is hitting the bottom line of small businesses with a sizable postal rate hike," committee president Darrell McKigney said. "Clearly, actions are not following words." The committee is a nonprofit small-business advocacy organization with 70,000 members.

"Why does the [postal service] supposedly need a rate hike? Because it is hemorrhaging money," said Raymond J. Keating, the committee's chief economist. "These massive losses come despite the fact that the cost of postage has risen dramatically over the past several decades."

Meanwhile, the June 30 postal rate increase will cost small businesses $1 billion a year, the National Federation of Independent Business said at a news conference hosted this week by Citizens Against Government Waste in Washington. The federation says it represents 600,000 small businesses.

Andrew Langer, the federation's regulatory policy manager, said the estimate was based on a poll of small-business owners and a computer software program that measures the economic effect of changes in laws and government regulations.

"Small business is always in danger from stealth tax hikes," he said. "Like regulations, this postage increase will inevitably cost more than the bureaucrats tell us."

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