A BUSINESSMAN fears he will have to close his post office within a year unless more people start using it.
Martin Lamb backed the Hartlepool Mail Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign.
He described the campaign as exactly right at a time when his own business is suffering, and agreed that people need to either use what is on their doorstep or lose it.
Martin, 55, runs the post office in Woodbine Terrace in Greatham. As well as a comprehensive post office service, there’s also a small grocer shop selling newspapers and other items.
But trade is slow and certainly not good enough for self-employed Martin, who formerly worked as a sales manager and controller and a driving instructor.
“People are not using this. Half the people just get in their cars and go to the big stores.”
Martin said he bought the business “on a whim” because he needed a home and a job, but he added: “I am not making enough money to keep it going.
“If the Post Office don’t pull out, I will.”
He said he would have to make that decision within a year and said: “I just want people to use it and keep the place going for them.”
The business employs two part-time staff as well as Martin himself. He added: “I am working 15 hours a day and I am not even on a minimum wage for that.”
The rise in popularity of supermarkets and out-of-town-retail centres were partly to blame for his own lack of trade, said Martin.
Just as “effective” in his struggles has been ATM machines which people will travel into Hartlepool for, rather than using the one which has the same services in his own premises.
“There are some people who stop but people at the front of the village get in their cars.”
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