In case you missed it, Yahoo! Finance recently highlighted how local gyms and fitness facilities nationwide are still grappling with the impact of COVID-19 and its variants. A key excerpt from a local gym owner outlining why Congress must provide gyms with targeted relief can be found below:
- “I’m not about blaming and looking back, but we do need them to step up now. I mean, in what world does the government completely close you down and take no responsibility for the collateral damage – in what world is that?”
The bipartisan GYMS Act currently has 155 co-sponsors in the House and 16 co-sponsors in the Senate. A survey found that 80 percent of gym owners say they are still struggling with the long-term financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, with 64 percent of owners having been forced to go into additional debt.
In March, when Gina Baski shut down her Los Angeles gym after California issued COVID-19 lockdown orders, she assumed the closures, although painful, would be temporary.
That wasn’t the case. Baski’s gym, TriFit Club and Studios in Santa Monica, was shuttered for an entire year due to the pandemic lockdown. The resulting turmoil has left Baski in the same boat as a vast number of small businesses and working class residential tenants: Struggling to catch up as they confront the possibility of eviction.
“I was one of those people begging our legislators to listen, crying, breaking down,” Baski told Yahoo Finance in an interview.
Her struggle is just one example of small business owners trying to navigate the aftermath of lockdowns, and reopening plans being upended by the Delta variant surge. Gymnasiums have been particularly hard hit by COVID-related restrictions, and while the federal government and a handful of cities have offered some relief to commercial businesses, the help has been less than sufficient.
“It’s been really rough,” Baski explained.
Read the full article here.