Fitness Industry Fights for Inclusion in Third Federal Stimulus Package Related to the Coronavirus

The federal government is working on a third stimulus package that would aid specific industries that have been affected by the spread of the coronavirus, and IHRSA, the trade association for commercial club operators, is lobbying for health clubs, gyms, studios and fitness industry suppliers to be included.

The third stimulus package also may allow for the creation of a small business interruption loan program, according to an article from Politico.  

IHRSA sent a letter to leaders of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate sharing that the 39,750 U.S. health clubs and studios are vital to the economy, serving 64 million consumers, generating $32.3 billion in annual revenue, and employing more than 425,000 people.

“Despite these impressive numbers, many clubs and studios are in fact small businesses, disproportionately impacted by the disruption COVID-19 is causing to the economy,” the letter, signed by IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore, reads.

The letter states: “As front line providers, it is also crucial that clubs and their suppliers need to be up and running and providing valuable services when the world returns to normal.”

Moore shared that exercise can improve immune health and improve respiratory health, both of which are important to fight COVID-19.

The letter goes on to say: “Now is not the time for America to lose one of its best preventative tools for reducing the impact of viruses and diseases such as Coronavirus 19. It is vitally important to the health of our nation that we maintain a strong health club and fitness industry, they are on the front lines of improving America’s physical and fiscal health. It is for these reasons that health clubs, studios and fitness industry suppliers must be included in any COVID-19 economic relief package.”

As soon as Congress began working on economic relief packages for businesses and industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, IHRSA and IHRSA board members began working with the association’s Washington, D.C.-based lobbyists.

IHRSA is urging the fitness industry to join its lobbying efforts by going here and contacting their members of Congress.

As of March 19, Congress has worked on three stimulus packages due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first package was signed by President Trump on March 6, providing $8.3 billion to combat the spread of the coronavirus through medical research and testing.

The second package was passed by both houses of Congress this week and is expected to be signed by the president. This phase, which is estimated to cost $100 billion, will provide two weeks of paid sick and family leave, increased unemployment insurance benefits, increase funding for Medicaid and food security programs as well as free coronavirus testing for people who are uninsured.

The third stimulus package is to address industries and small businesses impacted by business disruption from the coronavirus.

According to a Politico article, the proposal for the third stimulus package currently includes creation of a small business interruption loan program as well as $50 billion in help for the airline industry and “$150 billion for other distressed sectors of the economy.”  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the Senate will remain in Washington, D.C., until the third stimulus package is passed.