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For small businesses like No. 22, the only thing to do is look towards better days

Although the production facility is closed, the company continues to pay employees

Reflection on the global pandemic, Bryce Gracey, co-foudner of No. 22 bikes, uses a bike analogy: “It feels like we’re climbing a mountain road in the fog,” he says, “we’re trying to keep grinding the best we can without any sign of the summit.”

No. 22 is a Canadian custom titanium bike company but has an American workforce based in Johnstown, New York. “We were positioned to have our best season to date before sales came to a crashing halt in all of this turmoil,” says Gracey.

photo: No. 22

New York state has the highest number of coronavirus cases in America. As of Thursday, Apr. 9, there have been 159,937 confirmed cases and 7,067 deaths. There are more cases of COVID-19 in New York alone than in any other country. “Being the epicenter of the outbreak in the US,” says Gracy, “the state needed to take the extreme measures it did, treating the entire territory with one fell swoop.” That includes closing non-essential businesses such as the No. 22 production facility, located 200 miles north of New York City, in quiet Fulton County, population 55,000.

“In regards to production, we’re at a stand-still,” says Gracey. The production team is American so the company is disqualified from the Canadian small business loans. Regardless, they’ve been paying the team their full salary for the past month as the employees patiently wait to return to the facility.

A solution to weather the storm

Although No. 22 isn’t currently able to build bikes, Gracey and co-founder Mike Smith have been working hard on a solution. “We’re beyond frustrated that the situation in New York wasn’t taken seriously during those first few critical months,” says Gracey, “but we’re here now, so the best we can do is look ahead to a bright future; hence the name of our sales campaign Ad Meliora Tempora / Towards Better Days.”

In its biggest sale since the opening of the New York production facility, the company is offering 22 per cent off any No. 22 frameset or complete build, including 22 per cent off finishes and custom geometry.

Photo: No. 22

Gracey says that now is a great time to invest in products from small businesses. “Altruistically,” he says, “customers can have an immediate impact on the financial security of a small business they deem worthy of their support. This in turn has a direct effect on that businesses’ ability to support their staff and weather the storm, allowing them to hit the pavement at full clip when the clouds part.”

“Financially,” he says, “this is likely one of the only times customers will see pricing discounts of this magnitude, if at all. For an item of a significant price point such as a hand-crafted bike, it might make attainable the item that would otherwise be out of reach – something to look forward to getting out in the world and enjoying when this is all over.”

So far, the response to the sale has been extremely positive. “The general outreach of support and solidarity we’ve received has been overwhelming,” says Gracey. “I’ve felt like one of those telephone operators at a Jerry Lewis telethon the last few days.”

The sales team at No. 22 can be reached at sales@22bicycles.com