Back in October, for an episode of our Views from the Treehouse podcast, we interviewed Shane Cusick, who started a company right here in Richmond — Pello Bikes — making bicycles purpose-built for kids. It was a fascinating discussion, especially near the end when Cusick spoke about the impact the President Trump-imposed 10% import tariff was having on his fledgling business and what it would mean if that tariff jumped to 25% on Jan. 1. That 15% bump was recently postponed 90 days to give the United States and China more time to iron out their trade differences. But the challenge of operating a small business that makes its product in China (like so many small U.S.-based businesses) is still very real, and the outcome of those talks is uncertain.
Cusick told me he recently contacted Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner to tell them his story. Sen. Warner responded, and this Saturday he’ll be visiting Pello Bikes at 2 p.m. to talk about how the new tariffs are affecting business like Pello. Cusick said the event is open to the public and that the Senator would love to hear from other small business owners who might be similarly affected by the tariffs. Also, he added, you can bring your kids and let them ride around in the parking lot.