GYMS Act: $30 Billion Fund for Fitness Industry Introduced to Congress
On February 5, the Gym Mitigation and Survival (GYMS) Act was introduced to Congress by U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). If passed, the bill would create a $30 billion fund for gyms, fitness studios and fitness facilities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
These funds would be made available to fitness businesses for expenses such as payroll, rent or utilities, for example. According to IHRSA, the fund would cap initial grant amounts at 45% of 2019 revenue, or $20 million, whichever is less.
“The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the fitness industry,” said Quigley, in a statement. “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 people’s 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. 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 bill would provide much-needed relief to the fitness industry, as many fitness businesses did not qualify for assistance under the CARES act. According to a January survey conducted by IHRSA, fewer than 50% of small gyms and fitness studios expect to survive through 2021 without federal support.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
For insight into how you can support the bill’s passing, visit IHRSA’s GYMS ACT page.