Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Offer Gyms $30 Billion in Economic Relief
Today, Congressmen Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the Gym Mitigation and Survival Act, a bill providing $30 billion in grants from the Small Business Administration specifically for the U.S. fitness industry that has been largely unable to operate during much of 2020. According to a joint press release, 44 percent of jobs in the fitness industry (1.4 million) have been lost.
One big thing: The CrossFit-led Community Gyms Coalition has been lobbying legislators for months for targeted relief for gyms, penning op-eds in local and national newspapers in an attempt to get legislation introduced in the House. Both the Community Gyms Coalition and the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association applauded the legislation.
- Independent gyms have been largely ignored in economic relief packages except for broadly available programs like PPP.
- In comparison, the COVID relief package passed in December 2020 included a $15 billion bailout for live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions, but no money for gyms forced to close.
The details: Under the program, gyms would be able to recoup up to 45% of 2020 revenue to replace lost revenue in 2021.
- The grant money would allow gyms owners to use funds for payroll, rent, mortgage, utilities, insurance, and many other expenses fitness facilities normally incur.
- For gyms undergoing extreme economic hardship, the GYMS Act would also offer owners the opportunity to apply for a supplemental grant in addition to the one being offered.
What they’re saying: “It is critical we provide relief to this industry not only to bring back jobs but to help with peoples’ health. We’ve seen this pandemic attack people with preexisting conditions, making people eager to get to the gym to maintain and improve their health,” said Rep. Quigley.
- “We must ensure gyms have the resources they need to make it to the other side of this crisis and protect their customers in the interim.”
- Rep. Fitzpatrick: “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.”