CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Some small businesses in Carlisle are only getting their mail once a week. It’s causing delayed payments and inventory issues.

It’s an issue that’s been going on for months across the country, the problem of the U.S. Postal Service not delivering mail in a timely fashion. But local business owners I talked with here in Carlisle say the problem’s gotten worse in the last month.

Whistlestop Bookshop has survived the pandemic, but owner Jeff Wood has a new challenge to overcome with the post office.

“We are now averaging one delivery a week and I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen this week,” Wood said.

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That means bills from publishers and checks from customers aren’t being delivered on time.

“I’ve been in business 36 years so I know most of the carriers and I do ask them. They have been specifically told not to discuss this with recipients of the mail.”

It’s the same issue Jessica Miller is facing at Earth Artisan and Outfitter.

“If they’re delivering Amazon packages I get them. If they’re delivering regular mail I don’t,” Miller said.

After a week she finally got a delivery on Wednesday, but only with six pieces of mail.

“We rely upon other small businesses, other small makers, individuals, and families,” Miller said. “When we’re not receiving the goods that we need, we’re not able to service our community. We’re not able to service our customers.”

Miller doesn’t blame the local carriers but says something needs to change at the top.

“There’s no accountability. There’s no oversight,” Miller said.

“It’s more than just saying we’re understaffed. You can say that. That’s just a diagnosis. The real problem is you’re not thinking of a solution to the problem,” Wood said.

For now, these small business owners are doing the best they can and reaching out to federal elected officials to see what can be done to solve the issue.

In a statement, USPS spokesperson Steve Doherty said “As you may know, the American Rescue Plan Act expanded employee leave to respond rightly to the pandemic. As a result, staffing is occasionally impacted in Carlisle and we thank our customers for their understanding and continued support.

We are currently making full use of employees on overtime and bringing personnel in from surrounding communities, where available, to service Carlisle customers with daily mail delivery.

We also are aggressively recruiting additional staff for the holiday period and beyond. Anyone interested in employment with the Postal Service can visit and search, by state, for available jobs in their area.”