Post Office Counters has become the first major sponsor of the Rural Shops Alliance which was launched last month. RSA manager Sean Carter said the Post Office was crucial to the rural economy because two thirds of rural shops were also post offices. He said the Post Office's involvement in the RSA would give the alliance an input on important issues facing rural stores, such as plans for the Universal Bank. The RSA has also been admitted as an affiliate member of the Association of Convenience Stores, and Carter has a seat on its public affairs committee. The association was set up by the Village Retail Services Association to help rural retailers and give them a united voice. {{NEWS }}