Postage Increases Will Affect Local Businesses

The increase in the cost of postal services will affect many of Scilly’s businesses that rely on exporting goods and is set to add thousands to the TIC bill.

The Royal Mail will increase first and second class stamps by 16p from the end of April.

Churchtown Farm send flowers by post from St Martin’s. They say they are a bulk user with a postal contract and although their costs will rise, they tend to adjust their prices on a three-year cycle so there won’t be an immediate increase to their customers.

Any adjustment wouldn’t be made until the end of the year.

Gill Dan of Bryher’s Inclusive Holidays mails out both brochures and the Islander magazine but she says her franking machine, again, offers better mass mailing rates.

Beth Hilton of Scilly Now and Then says she’s sure they won’t be altering the prices this year. She says they will have to take the postal increases on the chin for now and raise subscription prices slightly next year.

On St Agnes, Mike Hicks says less than a half of his 28 Miles soap products are sent by post but he is worried about the extra charges.

Mike fears that the universal postal system, where everyone in the UK pays the same postage rate, is in jeopardy and that could be bad news for Scilly.

But the biggest increase will be borne by the Council’s tourism brochure. That will cost around an additional £3,300 to send out next year.

Sophie Hughes says that’s equivalent to finding another 30 bronze-level accommodation providers to advertise in the guide.

Sophie says the cost per brochure will be increasing from 65p to 76p, and with 30,000 brochures being sent out each year, this will make a sizeable difference to their budget.

Sophie says ultimately they may need to look at more cost-efficient ways of sending out the brochure. She added that more people are downloading the brochure so fewer hard copies are sent and, if that trend continues, the mailing cost rises will be absorbed,

It’s not bad news for every island trader. Terry Ward of clothing retailer, 49 Degrees says he’s been advised that the cost of posting his packages could actually fall.

And the news has kept the Post Office busy. Euan Rodger of St Mary’s Post Office says there has been a marked increase in stamp sales yesterday.