Businesses can play a key role in advancing bicycling in a community and businesses in the Tampa Bay region have caught on to this. A record number of local companies have stepped up to the challenge and become designated as Bicycle Friendly BusinessesSM (BFBs) as part of the League of American Bicyclists (The League) Bicycle Friendly AmericaSM program. So many, in fact, that Tampa has been ranked as the second highest community in the entire U.S. for the total number of BFBs. Businesses in St. Petersburg have also stepped up, ranking the city fifth in the entire nation.
What does it mean to be bicycle friendly? Businesses must demonstrate that they support cyclists as part of a rigorous application with The League and pay an application fee. Examples of bicycle friendliness include hosting events that cater to or support bicyclists, offering incentives to customers and encouraging employees to arrive by bike, and providing facilities that make bicycling to their respective establishments easier, like bike parking and changing facilities. The League evaluates these qualities and more, then ranks the level of bicycle friendliness by Bronze, the lowest designation, Silver, Gold, or Platinum, the very highest designation, or with no award at all. Every applicant also receives feedback on how to be even more bike friendly.
As more and more companies step up, more people take to the streets on two wheels. As more people travel to businesses by bike, the businesses further appreciate and support their bicycling customers. It’s a positive circle that steadily increases bicycling in a community.
If you would like to help continue the movement, consider patronizing one of the many BFBs in Tampa (and be sure to arrive by bike!).
For a list of BFBs in the region, check out the Bike League’s interactive map.