WASHINGTON, D.C. — February 2, 2021 — The Community Gyms Coalition (CGC), a group representing more than 15,000 local gyms and fitness studios across the U.S., today encouraged President Joe Biden to work with Congress to provide direct and targeted relief to America’s community gyms, studios, and fitness facilities in future COVID-19 rescue legislation.
“Prior relief legislation did not address the structural impediments gyms, studios and fitness facilities face in accessing and making use of relief,” Community Gyms Coalition wrote. “Federal relief programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) have not equipped gyms, studios and fitness facilities with sufficient funds to meet their most significant costs sustained due to shutdown orders.”
View the letter here and below:
February 2, 2021
President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Biden:
On behalf of more than 15,000 small gyms, studios and fitness facilities across the country, the Community Gyms Coalition (CGC) thanks you for your swift action to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Rescue Plan’s proposed assistance for small businesses is an economic imperative. As you work with Congress to supply much-needed relief for America’s small businesses, the CGC urges you to provide support for America’s tens of thousands of gyms, studios and fitness facilities.
As you know, government shutdown orders have affected every community in the nation. Almost every community has a gym, fitness facility or fitness studio, and across the country they were among the first businesses ordered to close and are among the last allowed to open. Many have been shut by government order for more than half of the year. Some have been closed far longer. In most jurisdictions, fitness facilities may only operate under severe restrictions. One in four gyms — thousands of small businesses rooted in their communities — is at imminent risk of bankruptcy.
Gyms, studios and fitness facilities are among those businesses hardest-hit by government-mandated closures. According to data collected by Yelp, gyms have a closure rate nearly five times that of restaurants, based on industry size. A recent survey of small, independent gyms and studios found that existing federal relief programs have failed to help 63 percent, and that fewer than 50 percent expect to survive through 2021 if they do not receive significant federal assistance. The survey also found that a direct grant program to recoup 2019 losses would increase the survival rate to 91 percent, helping more than 10,000 community gyms stay in business.
Prior relief legislation did not address the structural impediments gyms, studios and fitness facilities face in accessing and making use of relief. Federal relief programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) have not equipped gyms, studios and fitness facilities with sufficient funds to meet their most significant costs sustained due to shutdown orders. The hardest-hit industries — those among the first to close and last to open — require tailored, specific relief. This approach is not unprecedented, has been implemented for live venues, and would bolster tens of thousands of gyms supporting tens of thousands of jobs.
America’s community gyms and the tens of thousands of jobs they support need tailored, specific relief. The CGC urges you to work with Congress to include direct relief for America’s community gyms in COVID rescue legislation.
The Community Gyms Coalition