Resources for Retailers and Industry During COVID-19

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 25 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.

Jump to section:
Retailer Resources
State Actions: Essential Business Status, Business Closures and Activity Restrictions
Federal Actions: Essential Business Status, Small Business Relief + Tariffs
Keeping Your Business Safe
Some Good News…
Outdoor Recreation Resources



  • Upcoming webinars – click the title to register:
    • April 7 — COVID-19 Response: Bike Industry Guidance on Small Business Association Loans. During this webinar, we will dive into finding the correct grant or loans for your business, the process of applying for grants and loans and what those mean for your business and employees. Public Affairs Specialist Burl Kelton and Colorado District Office Lender Relations Specialist Steve White from the SBA will walk through the requirements and application materials for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Recorded webinars – click the title to watch:
    • April 2 — COVID-19 Bike Industry Update. Resources to help navigate the impacts on local business, what is happening in Washington, D.C., what PeopleForBikes has been doing to assist our member organizations, and best practices and tips shared from bike companies and shops around the U.S.
      • Note: This information was presented on April 2, 2020 with a specific lens for the bicycle industry. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, please pursue updated information from the CDC and WHO for public health related materials.
    • March 12 — Preparing for Disruptions: Coronavirus and the Bicycle Industry. What was happening in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of the U.S. COVID-19 response, how some key policy issues may be shelved as the virus becomes the top focus of the federal government, and best practices and tips shared from bike companies in the U.S.
      • Note: This information was presented on March 12, 2020 with a specific lens for the bicycle industry. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, please pursue updated information from the CDC and WHO for public health related materials.


Retailer Resources

State and local governments are implementing orders that restrict travel and business activities in their communities. This could have significant ramifications for bike shops and people who bike. To minimize the economic consequences the bike industry faces, PeopleForBikes is working to ensure that bike shops are treated as essential businesses, and that bike riding is classified as an essential activity. So far, state and local government orders have 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

Many cities and states are still formulating orders or helping local businesses interpret orders that have already been issued. We recognize that some bike shops will opt to close, for a variety of safety and business concerns. 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.

Additional Resources


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, organized by the following:

  • Whether non-essential retail businesses are closed.
  • Whether business closures extend to bicycle warehousing operations.
  • Whether business closures extend to bicycle shops.
  • Whether the state has instituted personal contact restrictions.
  • Whether bike riding is allowed (i.e. if “biking” is expressly considered an “essential activity” as a form of “outdoor exercise”).
  • Links to relevant orders and directives and effective dates.
  • Links to each state’s COVID-19 resource page.

This list is for informational purposes only and is being updated daily. 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.

PeopleForBikes is sending letters to state governors where we are unsure of the status of bicycle businesses or bicycling within the context of restrictions on business operations and outdoor activity, or where explicit restrictions have been issued concerning bicycle businesses or bicycling. Talking points in the above referenced section (“Retailer Resources”) provide guidance on sending your own letter, but you can also reference sample letters that PeopleForBikes sent to the state governments of CaliforniaColorado, Indiana and Minnesota.

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. Stimulus for small businesses is on the horizon and PeopleForBikes will share all wins and new resources here. 


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 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. We know this is a difficult time for all bike businesses. 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:

  • Make sure your business is following social distancing and sanitation best practices. The Centers for Disease Control has released guidance to help businesses. Also, review applicable state and local orders. For example, your state or city may have restrictions on the number of people that may be permitted in your business at one time.
  • Ride conservatively and don’t take unnecessary risks. There is no need to rush through an intersection, exceed the speed limit on a road or bike path, or try aggressive descents where there is an elevated chance of crashing, incurring a serious injury and putting additional strain on the health care system.
  • Follow social distancing protocols (six feet of separation) and restrictions on gatherings. Group rides will resume in the future. Now is the time to follow the advice of public health experts and maintain our distance.


Some Good News…


Resources from Fellow Groups


Outdoor Recreation Resources

Local, state and federal officials are opting to close many outdoor recreation areas due to overcrowding, to dedicate staff time to COVID-19 management, and to contain the spread of COVID-19.

PeopleForBikes Actions

  • PeopleForBikes joined the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) and other organizations in lobbying for safe access to the outdoors for transportation and recreation. NRPA published this resource and infographic making the case for going outdoors.
  • PeopleForBikes signed a letter to the administration alongside other outdoor trade groups asking that public lands remain accessible where appropriate and that the recreation industry is included in future stimulus policies.
  • PeopleForBikes joined 25 other members of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) in urging President Trump to support a series of proposals in a federal aid package to help small outdoor businesses and their employees.

Federal Closures and Updated Guidance

  • BLM: Entrance fees are temporarily suspended.
  • NPS: Visitor services, other than those of public and resource protection (such as law enforcement and trash removal), will be limited or suspended. Entrance fees waived.
  • USACE: Orderly shutdown of all USACE-managed campgrounds has begun.
  • FWS: No uniform guidance, check with individual units.
  • USFS: New guidance being provided regularly.

State Closures and Updated Guidance

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.