The Community Gyms Coalition (CGC), and IHRSA, the Global Health & Fitness Association, have responded to the House Committee on Small Business markup of its portion of the reconciliation bill, which sought targeted financial relief for the fitness businesses.
"While we are disappointed that the Small Business Committee did not include targeted relief for the fitness industry in its section of reconciliation, we are heartened by statements from Chairwoman Velázquez and Rep. Phillips that the Small Business Committees in the House and the Senate are working on a targeted relief package for gyms and other hard-hit industries. We look forward to working with them to see this much needed relief signed into law," the groups stated in a release.
The statement noted that the GYMS Act boasts broad bipartisan support, cosponsored by more than 150 Representatives House and 16 Senators. And just last week, almost 50 Democratic co-sponsors signed a letter urging Speaker Pelosi to include the legislation in the reconciliation bill.
"While other industries have received multiple rounds of relief, community gyms have been left behind twice," read the statement. "Our industry was one of the few that had to bear the brunt of government-mandated closures and it’s been a hard road. 1.5 million fitness professionals, including gym employees, personal trainers, and operators lost their jobs during the pandemic – equivalent to 47 percent of industry jobs – and almost a quarter (22 percent) of all gyms and health clubs in America have closed their doors permanently.
"Our fitness facilities and health clubs have become mainstays on main streets across the country as anchor tenants and beacons of health in our communities. Congress recognizes that Americans' health and fitness need to be prioritized, and we are hopeful based on comments today that Congress will also support the industry leading the charge."