In case you missed it, NBC News reported on how gyms and fitness studios were the hardest-hit by COVID-19 and were the first businesses to close due to government restrictions. NBC News featured several Community Gyms Coalition members while highlighting the struggles that gym owners are facing and outlining why federal relief is needed in order for gyms to survive.
New data revealed that existing federal relief programs have failed to help small gyms and fitness studios, with nearly two thirds of owners saying existing programs have not been useful. Previous data also found that without targeted relief from Congress, one third of gym owners do not believe they will make it through 2021.
Last week, the bipartisan GYMS Act was introduced by Reps. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in order to provide gyms with specific relief.
As Covid-19 spread across the country and local governments instituted restrictions and closures to keep infections from rising, fitness studios and gyms were often the first and hardest hit. Now, almost a year since Congress passed its first coronavirus relief package to help struggling Americans get back on their feet, one sector feels largely abandoned.
“Gyms are the forgotten pieces. We talk about payroll protection programs and restaurants and everyone kind of understands that because everyone goes to restaurants and bars,” Dale King, owner of a CrossFit gym in Portsmouth, Ohio, told NBC News in a phone interview.
Nearly half of all fitness studios around the country are expected to close their doors permanently if they don’t receive the needed relief. In a last ditch effort, thousands of small gym owners are asking Congress for billions in funding so they can make payroll, pay rent, and implement changes to comply with Covid-related restrictions.
Read the article here.