During early September 2020, the communities surrounding Portland experienced one of the worst fire seasons on record. Thousands of homes were destroyed, and the air was so thick with smoke that it was difficult to see across the street.
While many local retailers closed up shop, Batteries Plus remained open throughout Portland as it became clear that our stores was an essential stop for folks who were forced to evacuate.
With health and safety as our top priority, we made makeshift air filters to help our amazing staff and customers breathe in less polluted air. Many people without power came to us looking for help. They would often need flashlights, batteries for generators and power for the RVs and travel trailers they stayed in while their neighborhoods were threatened.
From day one, we made it our mission to be there for them, providing crucial items from our stores to lift everyone past this disaster.
One of our store managers, Mike Pitt, will never forget one customer in particular. A woman came into our shop in Gresham in utter ruin. She had just lost her house and broke her cell phone in the midst of the chaos. She was trying her best to keep it together as she had just lost everything when Mike offered to fix her phone even though she was not able to pay. The pure joy of seeing the smile on her face as she reconnected with her family made showing up to work, even though air quality was at dangerous levels, so rewarding for Mike and his team.
When we were considering whether there was room to expand our store count to nine in the Portland metro area, we kept coming back to all of the great people from Oregon City who visited our existing stores during that terrible week in September, knowing where our next store needed to be.
Miguel and Tony Perez are the owners of Batteries Plus Oregon City, their 13th franchise location in Oregon that held its grand opening last month.
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