Back in the Saddle Bikes, founded by Jon Marks, is a friendly, affordable, local bicycle shop offering repairs and servicing and sales of parts, accessories and used bikes. Jon’s main aim was to help people either get cycling or help keep them cycling safely without paying the kinds of prices charged by the big chain stores during the pandemic. Back in the Saddle faced several challenges, including slow initial growth due to people’s reluctance to venture outside and the curbs on travel during the lockdowns. Parts and new bike availability can both be problematic in the bike trade. However, Jon successfully found resolutions to both of these issues by sourcing parts from elsewhere in the world to offer his customers affordable prices.
Jon says: “A bike can be transformative for someone new to cycling, or returning to it after many years. The start of the pandemic led to a huge rise in demand for new and used bikes and repairs/servicing from those trying to avoid getting Covid on public transport to others who wanted to find a new form of exercise that maintained distancing. It’s been a challenging year, so I’m thrilled to be the overall winner of the #BornOutOfLockdown Awards as recognition of what I’ve achieved.”
Back in the Saddle will use the storage unit provided by Access Self Storage to offer maintenance classes for the homeless and those with substance abuse issues, where they get to keep the bike they work on.
Two Basingstoke based companies, Red Dress Events and Precision Rehab, were crowned runners up.
Laura McNamara, the founder of Red Dress Events, pivoted her events business during unprecedented times for the industry. In line with restrictions, Laura shifted from the corporate sector to smaller, private parties to celebrate occasions that would otherwise have not had a ‘party’ including garden cinema events and full outdoor party planning. Red Dress Events has selected three months’ worth of storage at an Access Self Storage unit to support their business plan to bring more sustainable and memorable events to the local community once restrictions allow.
Matthew James, Director of Precision Rehab, was also crowned as one of the five runners up after adapting his business due to strict Covid procedures, going from face to face services to online assessments to continue providing specialist powered wheelchairs across the UK. With much of the business being fully or partially funded by charity NHS vouchers, Matthew and his team had to work efficiently to reduce overhead costs and offer services within the legal restrictions. Precision Rehab will be taking advantage of a PR and Social Media 101 Workshop to develop its customer base and respond to increased demand.
From all of us at Access Self Storage, huge congratulations to the winners, runners up and other entries – we loved hearing so many positive business stories. If you’d like to hear more about Access Self Storage’s business services or self-storage options, get in touch today.