Quigley, Fitzpatrick Introduce GYMS Act to Rescue Struggling Fitness Centers
Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) introduced the Gym Mitigation and Survival (GYMS) Act to provide much-needed assistance to gyms, fitness studios, and fitness facilities that have struggled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The GYMS Act would provide $30 billion to the Small Business Administration to disburse grants to eligible fitness business. Facilities would be required to certify economic need and recipients can use funds for expenses such as payroll, rent and mortgage obligations, utility payments, worker protection expenditures, and more.
“The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the fitness industry. Since mid-March about 1.4 million jobs have been lost. 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 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.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the fitness industry across our nation. 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," said Fitzpatrick. "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. If passed, my bipartisan GYMS Act will create a $30 billion recovery fund, providing grants to affected businesses in the health and fitness industry and the resources they need to survive this crisis. There is no question that the hardworking men and women of this industry deserve our help."
Since mid-March, tens of thousands of gyms and fitness facilities have closed their doors as a result of the pandemic and related restrictions and 44 percent of jobs in the industry —1.4 million jobs — have been lost. Gyms, fitness studios and fitness facilities play a crucial role in maintaining our nation’s health. Their collapse would have a devastating impact on the economy and the health of communities across the country.
"The GYMS Act provides gym owners like myself with relief that existing programs failed to provide," said Justin Marcis of Windy City Strength & Conditioning, in Chicago, IL. “Passing the GYMS Act will save thousands of gyms from going bankrupt and will prevent millions of Americans from losing their jobs. Small gyms and fitness studios around every corner of the country have been struggling to stay open. The GYMS Act gives tens of thousands of small business owners like me hope that we will make it through this pandemic so we can continue to keep our communities healthy. We are thankful for Rep. Quigley and Rep. Fitzpatrick's leadership."