U.S. Affiliates Received $47 Million in Federal Relief Loans

December 11, 2020 by
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At least 3,900 CrossFit affiliates in the U.S. have received assistance from either the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, according to Covid Bailout Tracker, a project operated by the nonpartisan watchdog group Accountable.us. CrossFit HQ also received $3.18 million back in April under previous owner Greg Glassman, but the money has since been paid back in full according to a spokesperson for CrossFit. 

The numbers: At least 58% (3,900) of all U.S.-based affiliates received some form of direct economic assistance during the spring. 

  • Approximately $47 million was given out. 
  • Loans range from $283,127, which went to Solace, to $504, for Dibe CrossFit in Michigan.
  • The average amount to gyms was $12,724. 

Why it matters: $47 million might seem like a lot, but at an average sum of less than $13,000 per gym, the economic lifeline barely covers an affiliate’s operating expenses for more than a couple of months in smaller markets and not even a month in major, high rent markets like New York, San Diego and San Francisco. One clear example of this is the story of Solace New York, which received $283,127, one of the largest sums, and was still forced to close their doors on October 31, 2020.

  • As many jurisdictions tighten restrictions again on businesses, it’s doubtful that these loans, many of which were distributed in April, will be enough to keep the industry afloat. 
  • At the peak of mandated gym closures, nearly every affiliate in the U.S. was shuttered, and today, the industry’s prospects are bleak. 
  • According to an analysis by fitness industry association IHRSA, one-quarter of the 40,000 US fitness facilities could close by the end of 2020, without additional economic help. 
  • A new survey released by the Community Gyms Coalition of more than 1,000 local, independent U.S. gyms found that 39% do not believe they will survive 2021 without federal relief from Congress. 
  • According to Yelp’s Local Impact Economic Report, the gym industry has a closure rate that’s nearly five times that of the restaurant industry. 

The latest: For their part, HQ has no blanket policies when it comes to helping gyms, but it is considering relief on a case-by-case basis. HQ also declined to release statistics on how many gyms are late with their affiliate payments, they did note that the $3,000 expense is typically a small percentage of a business’s expenses. 

  • As a member of the Community Gyms Coalition, a lobbying bloc of major fitness companies, CrossFit is also pushing for $30 billion in direct, no-strings-attached grants for gyms, which would be used to cover up to a year of lost revenue. 
  • Unlike with PPP, business owners could apply the money toward any expense, including independent contractors, rent, insurance, and equipment. So far, the bill has yet to find a sponsor in Congress. 

Worth noting: The data is incomplete because it omits gyms (affiliated and not) without “CrossFit” in their name. Still, the data is a useful snapshot of the aid that many gyms have received. 

  • For example, Crow Hill CrossFit, which received nearly $100,000, is listed under the name “Crow Hill Strength and Conditioning, LLC.” 
  • San Francisco CrossFit, which closed in November, received a PPP loan but wasn’t located in the tracker, meaning it could have been filed under a different name. 

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