Thank you to the U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) for advocating for the bill. It is more important than ever that we work together to pass this bill and provide financial relief to the health and fitness industry!
Rep. Fitzpatrick said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the fitness industry across our nation. Unlike many other businesses financially impacted by the pandemic, health and fitness clubs did not have the capability to pivot to new revenue streams, and many even failed to qualify for assistance in the first CARES Act. Beyond providing assistance to business owners and workers, it is imperative we allow people the opportunity to maintain and improve their health as the pandemic continues on.”
If passed, the GYMS Act would create a $30 billion recovery fund in the form of Small Business Administration (SBA) grants that would be available to fitness business owners similar to other previous relief programs. It would allow fitness facility operators to recoup as much as 45% of 2019 revenue, or $20 million, whichever is less.
According to IHRSA, some of the expenses covered in the grant include:
- Rent or mortgage
- Interest on debt accrued before February 15, 2020
- Payments required for insurance on any insurance policy
- Costs required under any State, local, or Federal law or guideline related to social distancing
- And more
According to a survey by the Community Gyms Coalition, almost two-thirds of local gym owners believe that existing government programs have failed gyms and fitness studios because they did not meet their fixed costs like rent. And fewer than 50% of small gyms and fitness studios expect to survive through 2021 without federal support.
As we all get our footing after this pandemic, having access to fitness facilities will be more important than ever. They not only provide a place for physical health, but also mental well-being, community gatherings, childcare, and health education. The GYMS Act will save the industry by providing the targeted relief it desperately needs.
We need your support, whether you’re a gym owner or gym goer. Join us in helping to pass the bill by clicking the resources below provided by IHRSA.