House bill introduced to give gyms $30B in relief
Reps. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) have introduced legislation to provide $30 billion of relief aid to the gym industry, which has been struggling throughout the coronavirus pandemic due to lockdowns and the lack of clients.
The Gym Mitigation and Survival Act would award grants to gyms and fitness studios that can be used to cover payroll costs, rent, utilities, mortgages and worker protection expenses like personal protective equipment, among other costs.
Eligible businesses must be fitness facilities that provide instruction of physical exercise and that offer space for the maintenance and development of physical fitness. Grants could be up to 45 percent of the business’s 2019 revenue, or $20 million, and would be made by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
The Community Gyms Coalition, which represents 15,000 gyms struggling through the pandemic, endorsed the legislation. The coalition includes big-name fitness studios like CrossFit, SolidCore, Pure Barre, Orange Theory and ClassPass.
The legislation also requires the SBA to prioritize initial grants to eligible entities serving marginalized and underrepresented communities, with a focus on women, veteran-owned and minority-owned businesses.
Businesses could also apply for additional supplemental grants if they had a revenue of 33 percent or less in the last quarter, compared to its 2019 earnings, but no more than 25 percent of the initial grant.
The coronavirus relief package passed in December included a $15 billion grant program for live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions.
Gyms have been lobbying for similar relief for months.
The Community Gyms Coalition was launched in November in response to the pandemic and has called for this $30 billion grant program.
The coalition is hosting a virtual fly-in next week to have gym owners meet with Senate and House offices about the need for relief. The fly-in will target members from states where gyms have been hit the hardest, including New Jersey, New York, Minnesota, California, Colorado and Ohio.