Iowa Affiliate Awarded $15k COVID Grant, Returned It for Those in Greater Need
Like the majority of CrossFit affiliates around the world, when Heather Kiddoo and Jake Ledvina shut their doors on March 17, they began to worry about the financial future of their business.
So when their governor in Iowa launched a small business relief program, Kiddoo and Ledvina applied for the grant.
- “We applied because we were worried we would lose significant income and had no idea how long COVID would last,” Kiddoo said, the owner of CrossFit 563
Shortly after applying for the state grant, the federal government announced the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). They applied and were approved to receive USD$13,000.
Then just one week ago, more good news: Kiddoo received an email informing her they had won the state grant, and would receive $15,000.
Even though CrossFit 563’s revenue was down 30 percent since before the COVID pandemic, Kiddoo and Ledvina decided to return the grant money to the state and asked the governor to give it to a business in Iowa more in need than their own.
- “Our losses were not near as much as other businesses in Iowa, and it was clear in my mind that not accepting the money was the right thing to do. Some businesses may not recover,” Kiddoo said.
- “I hope the money we didn’t take can help others in our state stay afloat and come back to life now that we are all beginning to reopen,” she added.
Tyler Edwards, a member at CrossFit 563 for the last five years, said gestures like this are just part of who Kiddoo and Ledvina are.
- “I’m not surprised the gym gave the money back to the state for other businesses. They are always partnering with local businesses…The gym has been involved in many local fundraisers,” Edwards said.
Best of all, Kiddoo and Ledvina were able to reopen their facility last Monday.
- “Business is great. Our members and coaches were amazing through this by being willing to transfer from in-person coaching to online in just a few days. They have remained positive…They’re all very excited to be back in the gym,” Kiddoo said.
- “There is no doubt we are going to be back (financially) where we were in a short time.”