AUGUSTA COUNTY, VA. (WHSV) – Gyms seek federal relief as they work to recover from a severe blow from the pandemic.
“In 2020 we were one of the first to close. We were certainly one of the last to open again. Revenue here has dropped dramatically, ”said Mark Embrey, owner of Fast Fitness.
He added that it was almost time to finally close the doors of the only gym in Stuart’s draft.
“The members just didn’t come back. They didn’t come back because there is an atmosphere with other people here, ”said Embrey.
Unlike other small businesses and restaurants, gyms couldn’t offer pandemic-friendly services like roadside pickup and had very few options for alternative income sources.
“We had lost and saw our sales at 40-45%,” said Embrey.
As the vaccines continue to roll out, more and more people are returning to the gym.
However, Embrey said they are still way behind where they were before COVID, and that federal funding would be of great help for things like replacing old equipment and cleaning up.
“We have additional cleaning agents that we purchase locally from Cintas. We increased this to give our members a better level of comfort, ”said Embrey.
If passed, the Gym Mitigation and Survival Act would provide a $ 30 billion fund to provide grants of up to $ 25 million to fitness facilities affected by the pandemic.
“Physical fitness is something that people love to do and people want to get back to a sense of normalcy and they want to come back,” Embrey said.
He said these funds would help them keep the doors open and continue to provide a safe, clean environment for the community.
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