East Bay man preventing to save lots of his garage-based bike restore enterprise
East Bay man struggles to save his garage bike repair business
An East Bay man is fighting to save his garage bicycle repair business after the town of Livermore led him to work from home. .
LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA. – – An East Bay man is fighting to save his garage bicycle repair business after the town of Livermore led him to work from home.
“It is during this difficult time that we are asked whether you can work from home and from home,” said AJ Wright, owner of AJ Bike Service.
That’s exactly what AJ Wright did when he was fired from his job as a contractor at the beginning of the pandemic. He realized his lifelong dream of owning his own company, a bicycle workshop. He received a business license last June and has been working in his garage in Livermore ever since.
“It just exploded,” said Wright. “Everyone was on bikes when the pandemic broke out and I honestly couldn’t keep up with the amount of messages I received.”
Wright encountered a major roadblock last week when a city worker cited him for complaints and violations of a city code. The code states that only certain companies can let people come and go to their homes, like music classes, home bakeries, but nothing about bike repairs.
“I’m just trying to make an honest living and support the community and it just feels like you’re being attacked,” Wright said.
“This code is decades old, but it’s really important that we support our small businesses,” said Bob Woerner, Mayor of Livermore.
Woerner said he was working with Wright but it would take time, a public hearing and then a city council vote to change the city code.
“We have to establish rules to ensure that a company like his works in such a way that it doesn’t disturb the neighborhood,” said Woerner.
“If anyone sees this as a problem, I don’t understand why,” said neighbor Brian Cambra. “It didn’t get in my way and I live across from him.”
More than 5,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to help Wright. Often seen at charity and community events, Wright donates bicycles to children in need.
Wright hopes he and the city can come up with a solution that will encourage other small business owners to come forward.
“Right now it’s hard, everything is difficult, but don’t give up,” Wright said. “This is a perfect example of how not to give up and have a good fight.”
The city told him that he could only continue working if he picked up and parked the bikes himself. He said it would significantly reduce his workload and customer base.