COVID-19 Industry Resources

We recognize that day-to-day life is changing for all of us. While we may be more physically disconnected than we’re used to, we are still one united community. First and foremost, we encourage you to follow CDC guidelines and stay up to date on local news, and most of all, take care of yourselves, your families, friends and neighbors. 

PeopleForBikes’ staff of 26 dedicated individuals are working remotely across the U.S. to continue supporting riders and members of the bike industry. While we’re all making the best of the opportunity to spend more time at home, our mission hasn’t changed — we’re still working to make biking better for everyone. 

PeopleForBikes is providing support to the bicycle industry in this difficult time by asking federal, state and local governments to consider every bike shop as an “essential business” and to allow bicycling, for transportation or recreation, to continue where appropriate; and to advocate for many levels of economic relief to businesses and cities.

Jump to section:
Webinars
Retailer Resources
#RideItOut — New Digital Campaigns to Get Your Customers Riding Bikes
Resources For Larger Businesses (500+ employees)
State Actions: Essential Business Status, Business Closures and Activity Restrictions
Federal Actions: Essential Business Status, Small Business Relief + Tariffs
Keeping Your Business Safe
Resources From Fellow Groups

Some Good News…

 

Webinars

 

Retailer Resources

Bike Shops as Essential Businesses

Most state and local governments implemented orders that restrict travel and business activities in their communities, with varying levels of ramifications for bike shops and people who bike. To minimize the economic consequences the bike industry faces, PeopleForBikes worked to ensure that bike shops are treated as essential businesses and that bike riding is classified as an essential activity. State and local government orders generally exempted physical activity and essential businesses that support the community. (Note that the federal government recognizes bike shops as “essential” to our nation’s transportation infrastructure in its U.S. “Essential Critical Workforce Infrastructure” guidance that some state and local orders specifically cite. More information under “Federal Actions,” below.)

Template Letter

If you believe it is appropriate to ask your city or state to consider designating bicycling and bike stores as essential in order to keep basic transportation options available and provide appropriate support to small businesses, use this template letter. Note that this is a template, and there are sections that require you, as the business owner, to fill out with your information and business details.

Talking Points (if you choose to draft your own letter)

  • Bicycling continues to be an essential transportation mode for many Americans, particularly those who don’t own cars–more than 10% of U.S. adults.
  • People are riding bikes now to respect social distancing protocols. Transit modes and ride sharing can’t guarantee the same protections.
  • Half the trips Americans traditionally make are three miles or less. Today, as more people work from home and avoid lengthy commutes, more trips are short, and these are easily completed by bike.
  • Local bike shops support these essential trips by providing community services similar to auto repair shops or gas stations.
  • For people who can’t afford a car and use a bike instead, bike shops provide identical services as automotive repair facilities and are the only resource to keep their vehicle operable.
  • Bicycling provides significant physical and mental health benefits that can counter the downsides of social isolation.
  • The clear designation of bicycle shops as essential businesses and bicycling as a permitted outdoor activity will provide clarity and relief to citizens and enforcement officials.
  • Bikes allow people to perform essential activities such as going to the grocery store and picking up prescriptions.
  • Bike shops have no way of knowing how their customers are using their bikes and should not have to question them. Other businesses are not required to do this.

Toolkit to Keep the Bike Boom Going

Bicycle businesses can play a role in supporting safe and continued bike riding, and be drivers of change to improve mobility in their communities during the current pandemic and any future challenges the world may face. Use this toolkit to get the resources you need to advocate for improved bike infrastructure, bikes for essential workers, bike share and larger mobility solutions and improvements.

Additional Resources

 

#RideItOut — New Digital Campaigns to Get Your Customers Riding Bikes

Ride It Out is PeopleForBikes’ cooperative industry campaign to inspire people to embrace bike riding during these challenging times.

All across America, people are riding bikes for transportation, fitness and to be active as a family. Some are dusting off their bikes after a long time out of the saddle and some are starting to ride for the first time. Ride It Out is for all of them and regular riders, too. We’ve assembled turn-key social media assets, information, a webinar and tools to make it easy for you to lead the way and help everyone #rideitout. Click here for more information.

 

State Actions: Essential Business Status, Business Closures and Activity Restrictions

PeopleForBikes is tracking which states have enacted restrictions on businesses that can remain open and activities that people can engage in to minimize the spread of the virus. This spreadsheet (and visual map below) contains a summary of relevant state orders.

This list is for informational purposes only and is being updated regularly. Due to the speed at which restrictions are being imposed, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. This list only provides information about state-level restrictions. Local governments may have additional measures imposed.

If you have specific questions about restrictions in your jurisdiction, you are advised to seek advice from legal counsel or local authorities.  If you have questions or concerns regarding how these actions affect you or your business, we strongly encourage you to ask your government officials for clarification.

 

Federal Actions: Essential Business Status, Small Business Relief  + Tariffs

PeopleForBikes is advocating for greater federal government support of bike businesses. Our May 22 blog highlights how we are advocating for bikes in Washington, D.C.; and we sent a letter to congressional leadership to ensure that local governments have the flexibility to develop innovative solutions that support first-last mile connectivity to transit, specifically biking and walking infrastructure. 

Resources for Larger Businesses (500+ employees)

The CARES Act focused on small business relief, but COVID-19 affects bike businesses of all sizes. This memo outlines resources from the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve available to these companies. Some highlights include: 

  • Employee retention credit for employers subject to closure due to COVID-19: This provision provides for an employee retention payroll tax credit for a fixed percentage (50%) of eligible wages, up to $10,000 per employee. Eligible employers must have a business that was already operating in 2020; and has been suspended due to government order, or in which revenue was less than 50% relative to the same quarter in 2019, and ending in the first quarter for which gross receipts exceed 80% relative to that quarter in 2019. 
  • Main Street Lending Program: This program, under The Federal Reserve, will support lending to small and mid-sized businesses (up to 10,000 employees). While the lending infrastructure is still in the works, it will likely include “close to market rate” loan terms for anyone who can’t get a loan otherwise due to rating, risk, etc., executed through discount window lending to commercial banks, but without forgiveness, as in the SBA loans. Read the Main Street Lending Program FAQ for more information.
  •  Payroll Tax Deferral: Employers and self-employed individuals can defer payment of the employer share of the Social Security tax they otherwise are responsible for paying to the federal government with respect to their employees. The deferred employment tax can be paid over the next two years—with half of the required amount to be paid by December 31, 2021 and the other half by December 31, 2022.

Relief Packages

  • On March 18, the president signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the second stimulus package. This legislation provides additional paid sick leave and expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits for employees of small businesses. 
  • On March 27, the president signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the third stimulus package. This legislation provides $2 trillion in spending and tax provisions for companies and organizations of all sizes and includes a number of provisions that small businesses and employees in the bike industry may be able to take advantage of to help their business.
    • Read a full list of benefits here.
    • FAQ on the Paycheck Protection Program from the Department of the Treasury.
    • If you have received a PPP loan, you can access the SBA’s PPP Loan Forgiveness Application here.
    • Highlights of the CARES Act are:
      • Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program: Provides small businesses (500 employees or less) with funding to help retain workers and maintain payroll through loans to support salaries, paid sick or medical leave, insurance premiums, mortgage payments or other debt obligations.
      • SBA Loan Forgiveness and Debt Relief: Provides loan forgiveness (for the amount spent during an eight-week period) on payroll costs, mortgage interest payments, rent and utilities. Additional funding for six months of payments is available for those holding existing SBA loans.
      • Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit: Enables a tax credit of 50% of eligible wages (up to $10,000 per employee) for employees who have been retained by companies temporarily shut down by the government. There is no “double dipping” allowed with other credits.
      • Social Security Tax Delay for Employers: Allows employers and self-employed individuals to delay payment of their portion of the Social Security tax for employees.
      • Expansion of the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan: Allows for emergency grants (up to $10,000 per business for operating costs) administered by the SBA.
      • Expanded Unemployment Insurance: Creates the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which would cover individuals not currently covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI). Also, provides an additional $600 per week payment for four months for anyone covered by the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program or UI.
  • On April 24, the president signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act to add $484 billion to SBA programs, healthcare systems and COVID-19 testing.
    • Paycheck Protection Program: Allotted an additional $310 billion to the SBA program to replenish the depleted fund, alongside new regulations to ensure smaller lenders could maintain access to loans and to avoid issues with larger companies receiving this limited funding.
    • Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Grants: Allotted an additional $60 billion to the SBA program to replenish the depleted fund.
    • Provided $75 billion to hospitals and healthcare systems.
    • Provided $25 billion to testing programs under the Department of Health and Human Services.

Essential Business Status

  • On March 23, PeopleForBikes sent a letter to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) requesting that CISA recognize the indispensable roles that bicycling and bike service providers are playing during this crisis by designating “bicycle shops and bicycle service technicians” as part of the United States’ essential critical infrastructure workforce.
  • On March 28, following this request, the federal government recognized that bike shops are “essential” to our nation’s transportation infrastructure in its U.S. “Essential Critical Workforce Infrastructure” guidance.
  • CISA’s guidance serves as the foundation for the orders that state and local governments are currently imposing closing “non-essential businesses.” Some state and local orders have specifically cited this guidance.
  • The federal government’s explicit recognition of bicycle service and maintenance as critical to the U.S. transportation sector should make it significantly easier to have bicycle businesses recognized in those state and local orders that currently do not address them. It is critical to note that the federal guidance document does not change any state or local laws, unless they have specifically adopted it. The state or local government that has issued a closure order controls whether your business can stay open. However, most jurisdictions are examining, and adding to, their lists of essential businesses on a regular basis.

Informational Resources

Federal Department Actions

This is not an exhaustive list of federal agencies that have released guidance. PeopleForBikes is highlighting those agencies with relevance to the bike industry:

301 Tariffs

  • On March 11, PeopleForBikes signed onto congressional testimony with the Americans for Free Trade Coalition asking that Section 301 tariffs be immediately lifted. 
  • On March 19, PeopleForBikes joined other trade associations in encouraging the National Economic Council to lift these tariffs as the bike industry faces new challenges amid the spread of COVID-19.
  • On March 30 and June 25, PeopleForBikes submitted letters to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, asking that the office consider granting exclusions from the Section 301 tariffs on goods imported from China for several categories of bicycles, components, and accessories, including adult bicycles, tires, inner tubes, and helmets.
  • On March 20, PeopleForBikes joined Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and other trade associations in encouraging the president to lift these tariffs as the bike industry faces additional challenges amid the spread of COVID-19.

 

Keeping Your Business Safe

This crisis requires concerted action from everyone to stem the spread of COVID-19. You are best equipped to gauge the best interests of your company, your employees, your customers and your community as you decide whether your business should remain open. As an activity and business that have been permitted to continue in most places, we have particular responsibilities to support this public health effort. Bike riders and businesses can do their part to promote this effort:

 

Resources From Fellow Groups

 

Some Good News…

 

Thank you for your continued support. Together, we can all keep making bicycling better for everyone. Please, stay safe, and we’ll see you out on two wheels soon.