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Gyms and Fitness Centers Would Receive $30 Billion in Relief Under House Proposal

  • Bipartisan introduced in U.S. House of Representatives would provide $30 billion in grants to gyms and fitness centers
  • These businesses could receive funds up to 45 percent of their 2019 revenues if the legislation is approved
  • Gyms have been lobbying Congress for targeted assistance for several months

Gyms and fitness centers would receive billions of dollars in targeted assistance under a grant program that has been proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Gym Mitigation and Survival (GYMS) Act was introduced by Reps. Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat, and Brian Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican. The measure has won an additional six Democratic and one Republican co-sponsors and is currently before the House Committee on Small Business.

The legislation would provide $30 billion to the Small Business Administration to distribute to gyms and fitness centers as grants to cover expenses such as payroll, rent, utilities, and protective equipment. Businesses could receive up to 45 percent of their 2019 revenue, capped at $20 million.

Facilities could also apply for supplemental grants if their quarterly revenues are 33 percent of less compared to 2019 earnings, with the additional support limited to 25 percent of the original grant. Priority would be given to businesses owned by women, minorities, and veterans.

Many fitness facilities have been forced to temporarily or permanently close during the COVID-19 pandemic. Quigley and Fitzpatrick say these businesses have faced additional challenges in that they were often unable to find alternate revenue streams during the pandemic, with many ineligible for Paycheck Protection Program loans. The representatives say the fitness industry has suffered 1.4 million job losses, a 44 percent drop from pre-pandemic levels.

The Community Gyms Coalition has advocated for $30 billion in relief for several months. A $900 billion stimulus measure passed in December included a $15 billion grant program for arts and cultural organizations, but no other targeted relief. Restaurants and bars are also pushing for a grant program.

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