BOSTON, MA—May 4, 2020—The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) today announced it has joined America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, an alliance of more than 100 trade associations and business organizations advocating for a grant-based federal assistance program to power the resilience of American enterprise. Together, the coalition’s members span 30 business sectors and employ 45% of the nation’s workforce—more than 58 million workers.
"Health clubs were among the first businesses mandated to close due to the pandemic and among the hardest hit, with few alternative revenue streams to keep them going,” said Joe Moore, president and CEO of IHRSA. “Through no fault of their own, America's health clubs find themselves in danger of going out of business. America's Recovery Fund is the solution that could save health clubs and businesses across the country hard hit by this pandemic. That is why IHRSA is proud to join this coalition and work to save America's businesses, jobs, and bright future."
In a letter sent to President Trump, congressional leaders, and the Secretary of the Treasury, the coalition noted:
“Today we are announcing the creation of America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, a group of over 100 organizations advocating for a grant-based federal assistance program to power the resilience of American enterprise. America’s Recovery Fund Coalition includes members representing more than 30 business sectors that together employ 58 million Americans and comprising more than 45 percent of the private workforce.”
The coalition went on to state:
“Existing programs like the Paycheck Protection Program were a well-intentioned effort to help defray the impact of the COVID-19 economic crisis, but we must build upon the current options and address the overwhelming need for additional capital support to businesses. A broad-based, efficient recovery fund that does not pick winners and losers is the best path forward. Without such a fund, our retailers, theatres, restaurants, and many other industries will be decimated—and our communities will be poorer both economically and culturally as a result.
“America’s Recovery Fund Coalition believes Congress must urgently create a federal direct assistance fund to provide rapid liquidity to businesses impaired by the COVID-19 national emergency. We believe the fund should be designed to help businesses maintain ongoing capital obligations during the prolonged crisis and the next months of economic healing, enabling employees to continue receiving pay, maintain benefits, and helping employers rehire former employees while workplaces get back on their feet and safely reopen to the public.”
“Castle Hill Fitness is a small, local business focused on enhancing the quality of life. We’re committed to serving the community, conducting live-stream classes while closed and creating more private spaces in our facility so our staff and members can feel safe when we reopen,” said IHRSA Board of Directors member Michele Melkerson-Granryd, a cancer exercise specialist and general manager of Castle Hill Fitness in Austin, TX. “Our income has dramatically decreased—and I expect will continue for some time as people are concerned about resuming their usual activities for fear of infection. Knowing there is a Recovery Fund to help cover our losses like this will give us the confidence to continue our efforts to support our community.”
To read the full letter, click here.
To see the full list of America’s Recovery Fund Coalition members, click here.
To learn more about America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, visit AmericasRecoveryFund.org.
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.