New Data Shows Current Federal Relief Programs Fail to Help Two Thirds of Local Gyms

WASHINGTON, D.C. — January 28, 2021 — A new survey of more than 300 locally-owned, independent U.S. gyms and fitness studios found that existing federal relief programs have failed to help most local gyms, as nearly two thirds said the programs were not useful to them because they do not meet their cost structures, which are based on fixed costs like rent.

The survey also revealed that US gyms had been forced to close for almost four months on average so far due to local health restrictions, far longer than other local businesses, and they estimated there was more than a one in three chance (36%) they would survive through 2021 without direct government grants.

The Community Gyms Coalition (CGC), a group representing more than 15,000 community gyms and fitness studio in the U.S., released the following statement regarding the survey’s findings:

“Community gyms and fitness studios are in the fight of our lives to stay open, and we need targeted relief from Congress now,” said Dale King of PSKC CrossFit. “This new data confirms that previous relief programs have not been successful for local gyms and fitness studios because it has not addressed our specific needs. If Congress wants to save our small businesses – which exist to keep our communities safe and healthy – they must include direct relief for local gyms in the next stimulus package. Tens of thousands of small businesses are on the line, and even more jobs are at stake.”

The survey was conducted among more than 315 owners of local, independently-owned gyms and fitness studios in January 2021. In addition to providing an estimate on the survival rate of gyms and fitness studios across the country, it found that gym and fitness studio operators believe that loan-based programs will only push financial strain into the future rather than resolving it.

Previous data in November 2020 revealed that over one third of gym owners did not expect to survive 2021 without targeted relief from Congress. The survey also showed that a direct grant program to recoup lost revenue would help more than 10,000 fitness facilities stay in business. According to Yelp, our nation’s gyms and fitness facilities face higher closure rates than other hard-hit industries like restaurants and bars.

Learn more about the Community Gyms Coalition here: