While some businesses have slowed or closed in the face of the coronavirus, other businesses, including Pearland Bicycles, are experiencing their busiest time yet.
“We have definitely seen an uptick in business. We are working on everything right now,” Pearland Bicycles owner Daryl Catching said.
Pearland Bicycles sells bikes and bike accessories and also offers bike repairs.
Prior to Gov. Greg Abbott's order allowing nonessential retail to resume operations, the store remained open, as bicycles fall under the umbrella of transportation, making it an essential business.
The business is being sure to practice social distancing, though, Catching said. The business is trying to stop customers from touching products, has tape marking lengths 6-8 feet on the floor, is cleaning doorknobs and products regularly and, most notably, has placed a restriction on the store allowing no more than two customers at a time.
On Saturdays, the store has a line out the door, Catching said.
“We’re limiting to two customers right now because we are a small shop,” he said. “It’s a good safety feature, but it also relieves our nerves and stress just because you don’t have people waiting on you.”
Due to Pearland Bicycles being a small shop, Catching has kept his staff of four through the pandemic. However, they talk daily about whether they still feel good about staying open, Catching said.
Catching said the situation has brought a lot of stress for him as a business owner.
“You’re concerned about the business next to you. In some ways, you feel a little guilty when everyone else is closed,” he said. “I think every business could technically be open if they practiced social distancing, especially small businesses.”
Catching said he is pleased that the governor's most recent order will allow other businesses that may be deemed nonessential to operate safely.
Despite the stressful situation, the business has seen some acts of kindness, Catching said. One customer came in with a lot of repairs and the customer after him offered to pay for the repairs, Catching said.
The business sees some people come in for transportation purposes, but most people are there recreationally, Catching said.
“It’s great to see people wanting to ride," he said, "but it stinks that it has to take a pandemic to do that.”