On an April 8 call with industry leadership, Helen Durkin, IHRSA's executive vice president of public affairs, announced that the association is immediately retaining multiple Washington, D.C., lobbyists. Each lobbyist will become part of a cohesive lobbying team with strength in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, reaching both Democrats and Republicans.
The lobbyist firms include:
- Van Scoyoc Associates (IHRSA's existing lobbyist, increasing their scope),
- McGuireWoods Consulting (new),
- Capitol Hill Policy Group (new),
- Additional assistance is under consideration and will be employed if needed.
With the new lobbyists in place, the fitness industry will have a higher profile in Washington, D.C. More lobbyists, with connections on both sides of the aisle, will increase IHRSA’s strength in its efforts to advocate for the industry. While IHRSA is exploring all avenues of industry relief, the below are the most immediate:
- Expand Small Business Association’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan eligibility (either through an administrative fix or via a technical correction in the next stimulus package),
- Business interruption insurance,
- Lease/rent relief,
- And a 9/11-style Business and Employee Continuity Recovery Fund.
As of April 13, club companies large and small have contributed over $300,000, 100% of which will go directly to industry relief efforts.
To contribute and or learn more about these efforts, please contact Meredith Poppler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-316-6750.
About IHRSA Advocacy and the ILC
As the industry’s trade association, protecting club operations is what we do, it’s why we exist. IHRSA has been protecting clubs from legislative and regulatory burdens, while also promoting the industry's vital contributions to the health of the nation since the association’s early years.
Twenty years ago, the industry’s leaders formed the Industry Leadership Council (ILC) as a way to work together for a better and stronger industry by raising money for lobbyists. ILC contributions enable IHRSA to fulfill its role as the industry’s sole protector and advocate in Washington, D.C., and all 50 states.
- represent tens of thousands of clubs across the U.S. and Canada, as well as individuals and industry suppliers,
- actively work toward the common goal of a healthier, stronger, more prosperous nation,
- value being part of something greater than their immediate business.
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion.
As the sole association representing the fitness industry, IHRSA protects clubs from legislative and regulatory burdens, promotes the industry's contributions to the health of the nation, and actively supports policies to grow the exercising population.