Club Insider

IHRSA’s Lobbying for the Fitness Industry Continues

Posted: September 24, 2020 in IHRSA

IHRSA AdvocateIHRSA Advocate

BOSTON, MA – Although health and fitness clubs are open, to some degree, in every state, things are still bad for the fitness industry. Restrictions, maximum capacities, member cancellations and cleaning protocols, for example, are making it tough for many businesses to stay afloat. This is an update of IHRSA’s lobbying activity.

Over the past six months, IHRSA has dedicated countless hours, manpower, and resources to advocate for the fitness industry, lobby for relief from Congress, and ensure states open and keep clubs open. From the curation of resources to calls with industry leaders and lobbyists, sending letters to governors to grassroots campaigns—and everything in between—we’re working diligently to prove how vital clubs are.

For more information on IHRSA’s lobbying actions, IHRSA’s Coronavirus Action Center includes an interactive timeline of industry efforts and events since the first clubs were mandated to close. Additionally, this timeline details IHRSA’s early lobbying efforts and the more recent July lobbying efforts.

Federal Update

IHRSA continues to lobby for relief and revitalization for the industry and will provide updates as more information becomes available. We are doing all we can to ensure the industry is well-positioned in case a bill is passed.

At this time, the focus of our efforts are:

  • A continued push for PR and media coverage in Washington, D.C., as well as the media markets of key Senate members.
  • Direct lobbying to influential Congressional and Senate committee members, such as the Senate and House Small Business Committees, Senate Committee on Finance, and the House Committee on Ways and Means.
  • Boosting support for the RESTART Loan Act by actively recruiting co-sponsors and promoting the measure’s inclusion in the next relief bill.

State Update

The closing weeks of August and the first week of September did see a long-overdue thawing at the state level as all the previously unopened states finally restored fitness to their citizens.

IHRSA has been holding State Leadership meetings every two weeks with State Alliance Leaders and Industry Leadership Council members. The collaboration and sharing of best practices have been helpful to all involved short-term. Long-term, strong alliances at the state level will help the industry fare better with state legislative actions.

Image of the Industry PR Efforts

Since the start of the crisis, our three overarching industry PR messages have been—and remain to be:

  1. 1. Clubs and exercise are essential,
  2. 2. Clubs are safe, and
  3. 3. Clubs are hurting.

We are consistently curating new resources to change the media’s narrative around the essential nature of physical activity, the importance of clubs, and the need for relief for the industry. Refer to IHRSA’s August lobbying recap for more information regarding PR efforts.

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