Government Assistance Available To Affiliates
While the CrossFit community rallies to raise funds for affiliates struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, several governments globally are offering stimulus packages to ensure small businesses can weather the coronavirus storm.
Globally, 78.8% of the 14,790 are closed and with no word on when many will be allowed to reopen, the grim reality is many may not.
If you’re wondering whether your gym could be eligible for a government lifeline, here’s a list of what’s available across the globe.
The United States
We published a more comprehensive overview of financial assistance available to affiliates and small businesses inside the CrossFit industry available here. Below is a brief overview of popular options available.
- The Paycheck Protection Program: applies to those self-employed and independent contractors, who can receive up to two and a half times your total payroll expenses. There’s more information here.
- EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loans) is available for those unable to pay bills, rent and all the necessary operating expenses. With SBA’s loan, businesses could be eligible for up to $2 million, all the details are on the SBA’s website.
Australia and New Zealand
Australia announced a $130 billion stimulus package to pay out businesses $750 (AUD) a week ($1,000 a fortnight) for each worker they keep in a job.
Your box could be eligible if:
- You’ve lost 30 percent of your income and your coaches or staff were employed as of March 1.
- The JobSeeker package includes casual staff as well as sole traders.
- It’s also good news for coaches from New Zealand living and working in Australia (and there’s a fair few of them!) they’re also eligible to receive the handouts.
- Read more about the package and how to apply here.
In France, we spoke with Daniel Caffey, who’s the French liaison for CrossFit HQ.
He said: “You can place your employees on temporary unemployment benefit, which gives them 86% of their salary. However the affiliate has to pay the salaries and all charges upfront and submit a file to get reimbursed in the future, so you need to have that treasury available.”
- “For rents, the government has asked all landlords to delay requesting rents, but they will be charged eventually. It is up to each affiliate to negotiate with their landlord as to how this payment is spread out,” he added.
Independent coaches can also request one-off support payments of up to 1500 euros. Boxes with bank loans can also ask for the repayments to be delayed for the duration of the forced closures.
In Italy though, one of the country’s hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, affiliates say financial assistance isn’t easily accessible.
- CrossFit Varese owner Carlo Strati said: “Unfortunately the only real help we’ve got so far from the government is the postponement of the taxes due in April.”
Coaches can ask for 600 euros from the government to compensate for the salary they’ve lost during lockdown. Only issue – Carlo says – there’s not enough to satisfy the 100, 000 plus gyms operating in Italy.
A new law was passed this week, making it easier to get interest-free loans: “That being said, the true situation is that we closed our gym 6 weeks ago, we have zero income but we still have to pay our rent and all the bills. And we expect to stay closed at least one more month.” Carlo told the Morning Chalk Up.