Washington, D.C. — Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet has co-sponsored U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth’s (D-Ill.) bipartisan Gym Mitigation and Survival (GYMs) Act to provide much-needed assistance for gyms, fitness facilities, and studios that shuttered operations to protect public health during the deadly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, but as a consequence, have struggled to stay in business. The bipartisan GYMS Act would establish a $30 billion grant program through the Small Business Administration (SBA), similar to the programs already in existence for restaurants and live event venues.
“Gyms and fitness centers were among the businesses hardest-hit by COVID-19 and they need our support,” said Bennet. “Through the bipartisan GYMs Act, we can make sure these facilities have access to the flexible assistance they need to get back on their feet. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this done.”
While 2020 was difficult for many businesses, gyms, fitness centers, and studios were particularly hard-hit. Industry-wide, gyms saw a 58% decline from 2019 through the end of 2020. As of December 2020, 17% of fitness centers had permanently closed and 1.4 million jobs – or 44% of the industry – have been lost during the pandemic.
The bipartisan GYMs Act would provide assistance to small and midsize fitness facilities.
Specifically, it would:
- Authorize a total of $30 billion for grants to eligible entities, which would include fitness facilities that either provide instruction for physical exercise and/or offer space for individual exercise use.
- Provide grants of up to $20 million for most firms, with the hardest-hit firms being eligible for grants of up to $25 million.
- Allow a gym to use grant funds for payroll costs, rent, utilities, mortgage interest, worker protection expenditures, interest on debt accrued before February 15, 2020, and other expenses.
The text of the bill is available HERE.