North central Pennsylvania is pro-business
When Priority Bicycles, a company based on low maintenance bicycles, started five years ago, we needed a warehouse and logistics center that was convenient for shipping, had a large talent pool to grow with us, and was accessible from our New York design office. We quickly landed in Montgomery as one of our founders has a long history in the area.
Over the past few years, our business has grown from a Kickstarter idea to a growing small business selling thousands of bicycles per year to locations all over the world. However, last year when the section 301 tariffs increased on imported bicycles and components, our growing business was put in jeopardy. So what did we do? First, we started to build out our own assembly and paint operation at our Montgomery facility for custom runs for major apparel and hotel brands.
Next, understanding that to continue growing our business we had to keep our high-volume bicycle orders in our Montgomery facility, we reached out to U.S. Congressman Fred Keller’s office for help.
Fred and his staff promptly visited our Montgomery operation and met with our team to discuss the challenges of our young and growing business. Shortly thereafter, he, along with U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, each wrote letters in support of Priority Bicycles’ exclusion requests to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to urge them to provide Priority Bicycles with a tariff exemption. They noted that manually-powered bicycles are not the products that the 301 tariffs were designed to target, as these items are not strategic to China’s growth, and that crippling our business would cost U.S. jobs instead of protecting them.
With their help, Priority Bicycles has now received the first of two requested tariff exemptions. Because of this, we are now able to make additional hires and begin to get our company back on a path to growth.
When others in the industry ask why we are growing, we are clearly able to credit the pro-business benefits of northcentral Pennsylvania, the strong support shown by Congressman Fred Keller and his office, and of course the special pool of talent unique to Lycoming County. As our business grows and expands, we are committed to growing and doing our part as a proud member of the Montgomery and Lycoming County business community.