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Fitness Industry Continues Push for Relief

Jason Scott

The American Rescue Plan, signed Thursday by President Biden, did not include any direct relief to the fitness industry — but the push for such relief via the proposed GYMS Act continues.

According to a press release from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, the Gym Mitigation and Survival Act has attracted the support of a bipartisan group of 62 U.S. Representatives. 

The bill would create a $30 billion fund for health and fitness-related businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those funds could be used to cover costs associated with payroll, rent or mortgage including interest, utilities, interest on debt accrued before February 15, 2020, worker protection expenditures and more.

IHRSA and the National Health & Fitness Alliance have sought to rally supporters to contact their legislators in support of the legislation.

“It’s imperative that the industry continues to inundate Congress with messages and push the GYMS Act inclusion in the next relief package,” IHRSA assistant vice president of government relations Jeff Perkins said in a release. “IHRSA is willing to assist health and fitness clubs with their advocacy efforts in any way related to the GYMS Act.”

According to the association, one in four fitness-related businesses could permanently shutter if they don’t get relief. IHRSA reports that in the period between March 2020 and December 31, 2020, health and fitness clubs, gyms, and studios lost $20.4 billion in revenue. Those losses accounted for a 58 percent decline from 2019 revenues. 

Congressional champions of the legislation have pledged to continue the fight.

“I will continue to do what I can to push for this financial support until your facilities receive the assistance they need,” said Rep. Mike Quigley, one of the bill’s co-sponsors.

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