Health and Fitness Alliance Deploys New GYMS Act Strategy and Tools
Posted: July 24, 2021 in IHRSA
BOSTON, MA – Right now in Washington, D.C., lawmakers are discussing what to include in the next reconciliation bill. This bill is our best chance to get the GYMS Act passed, but we need to act fast. Government officials need to hear from you that health and fitness facilities cannot be left out again.
Gyms, much like restaurants, were not only indirectly harmed by the pandemic’s impact on the economy but directly bore the brunt of government-mandated closures and restrictions. Unlike restaurants, relief packages have left gyms behind twice. We cannot be left behind again.
In order to support our push to get the GYMS Act included in the next reconciliation bill, we need your help. We’ve created a new one-click campaign targeting your Senators and Small Business Committee Chair Ben Cardin, who will play a key role in deciding what gets included in the reconciliation bill.
In the last year, nearly 20,000 people across the U.S. sent a letter to Congress asking they support the GYMS Act—half were gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts. Your members want to help, they just need to know what they can do to show their support.
So, we’ve created a printable GYMS Act Campaign Flyer that you can print out and post in your facility. The flyer contains a QR code that people can scan with their phones and directly links to the one-click campaign.
The GYMS Act: Relief for Gyms, Health Clubs, & the Fitness Industry
If you haven’t heard of the GYMS Act yet, now is the time to get involved!
The GYMS Act is the fitness industry-specific bill that will get the nearly 3.2 million fitness professionals in the U.S. on our feet again. This bill is designed specifically to help keep local gyms, clubs, and studios in business and serving their communities.
The GYMS Act will create a $30 billion fund to provide grants to affected businesses in the health and fitness industry.
How would the GYMS Act grants work?
Qualifying businesses would be eligible to receive grants capped at 45% of the facility’s 2019 revenue or $20 million—whichever is less. Health and fitness businesses considered severely impacted—meaning they earned only 33% or less revenue in the most recent quarter compared to 2019—would be eligible for a supplemental grant of up to 25% of their initial grant amount.
What would the grants in the GYMS Act cover? The six main expenses the grant would cover include:
- Payroll costs,
- Rent or mortgage payments, including interest,
- Interest on debt accrued before February 15, 2020,
- Taxes, and
- Costs required under any State, local, or Federal law or guideline related to social distancing.
Where is the GYMS Act now?
The momentum built behind the GYMS Act shows the power of our industry’s voice when we all work together. The mobilization of club operators, state alliances, and industry partners is driving impressive results for the GYMS Act.
As it currently stands, the GYMS Act has 145 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, only five co-sponsors short of our next milestone of 150 co-sponsors. Reaching 150 co-sponsors is significant because it will put us close to two industries that received additional relief—Restaurants and Stages.
The momentum built in the House made the introduction of the GYMS Act in the Senate by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) possible. Currently, we have 12 co-sponsors in the Senate, where negotiations are underway over the next reconciliation bill, which is our best chance to get the GYMS Act passed.
Having both a House and Senate bill with momentum improves our lobbying position with Congressional leadership and the White House. We have their attention. Now we have to keep working to include it in the next reconciliation bill.
How You Can Help:
1. Send a pre-written letter through our one-click campaign to your Senators and Senate Small Business Committee Chair Ben Cardin.
2. Print and post this GYMS Act Campaign Flyer, which includes a QR code for quick and easy access to our new one-click campaign.
3. Ask your members, friends, and family to participate in the campaign as someone who values fitness.
4. Bookmark the GYMS Act dashboard to follow the bill’s progress.
Our industry has been hit hard by COVID-related closures and restrictions. Rebuilding will take diligence and time, but fortunately, the relief provided by the passage of the GYMS Act will go a long way.
The GYMS Act will reinvigorate our industry, but we need your help to get it over the finish line.