- Two US House of Representative members have introduced the Gym Mitigation and Survival (GYMS) Act.
- The act could provide up to $30 billion in relief for gyms and fitness facilities.
- Many facilities have closed during COVID-19 while at-home fitness companies have thrived.
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Two members of the US House of Representatives introduced a new bipartisan bill on Friday that could provide gyms with $30 billion in relief during the coronavirus pandemic.
While COVID-19 has led to a surge in demand for at-home workout products like Peloton bikes, many gyms and fitness facilities have had to file for bankruptcy amid government-mandated shutdowns.
To support the struggling non-virtual fitness industry, Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois and Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania have co-introduced the Gym Mitigation and Survival (GYMS) Act. The act would give $30 billion to the Small Business Administration to distribute relief to gyms and fitness facilities accordingly.
In order to be eligible, the fitness facilities would need to prove that they need the financial relief, which could then be used for payroll, rent, utilities, and employee protection needs and costs. This relief could provide up to 45% of a facility’s 2019 revenue, according to a report from The Hill.
While the December 2020 COVID-19 relief package provided $15 billion for entertainment businesses like venues and museums, gyms received no money, according to a report by the Morning Chalk Up.
Many fitness facilities were unable to reel in new sources of revenue during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement from Fitzpatrick. On top of this burden, several of these businesses also didn’t qualify for relief provided by the first CARES Act.
As a result, job opportunities at fitness facilities have been decimated, amounting to a loss of 44% — about 1.4 million — positions in the industry since mid-March, according to the joint news release announcing the act.
“We’ve seen this pandemic attack people with preexisting conditions, making people eager to get to the gym to maintain and improve their health,” Quigley said in a statement. “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.”