As the trade association fighting for the fitness industry, IHRSA has requested that Congress include health clubs, fitness centers, gyms, studios, and fitness industry suppliers in the economic stimulus package.
Boston, MA—March 17, 2020—U.S. health clubs and studios are vital to the economy; they serve 64.2 million consumers, generate $32.3 billion in annual revenue, and employ over 425,000 people. Those jobs are at risk. As a result, IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, is fighting to ensure the inclusion of health clubs of all types and fitness industry suppliers in any relief package.
As soon as the U.S. Congress indicated that it would be working on economic relief packages for businesses and industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, IHRSA and IHRSA Board members began working with the association’s Washington D.C. based lobbyists.
To date, a total of three stimulus packages prompted by the coronavirus pandemic have been in discussion by Congress. The first, which passed immediately, was for direct funding to medical research and testing. The second was for family assistance of affected front line health employees.
The third stimulus package is to address industries and small businesses impacted by business disruption from the coronavirus.
In the March 17, 2020, letter that IHRSA sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, IHRSA, with guidance from their expert Washington DC lobbyists, stressed the issues at hand.
Like the restaurant industry, the fitness club industry is represented by large and small businesses, independent operators and chains, and franchised facilities. Also, like the restaurant industry, the fitness industry employs a diverse range of generations.
IHRSA also stressed that health and fitness clubs are deeply ingrained in their communities, purchasing local goods and services, paying local taxes, and providing ancillary services to parents such as daycare and swimming lessons.
Our industry’s ask of Congress: “Now is not the time for America to lose one of its best preventative tools for reducing the impact of viruses and diseases such as coronavirus. It is vitally important to the health of our nation that we maintain a strong health club and fitness industry; they are on the front lines of improving America’s physical and fiscal health. It is for these reasons that the inclusion of health clubs, studios, and fitness equipment manufacturers must be in any COVID-19 economic relief package.”