COVID-19 Relief & Information for the U.S. Fitness Industry

A comprehensive list of all U.S. specific COVID-19 relief and closure information to help health clubs navigate the coronavirus outbreak. This page will be updated regularly.

On Friday, March 27, President Trump signed the $2 trillion CARES Act (the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security” Act) into law. Here’s a summary about the assistance included in the largest stimulus package in American history.

In June, the Senate passed a bill that gives Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrowers greater leeway in how they can use the PPP funds and still have the loans forgiven. Known as the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, the bill was passed by the House last week. The bill now heads to President Trump for his signature.

The bill extends the window for businesses to use the loans, from eight weeks to 24 weeks, and pushes back the deadline to rehire workers from June 30 to December 31. Additionally, the bill reduces the share of funding that must go directly toward payroll costs, from 75% to 60%.

See a map of the impact of the CARES Act on businesses in every state.

Below are summaries of available federal tax credits and relief programs. For information about state-level tax deferrals, review here.

Paid Sick Leave and Child Care Leave Tax Credits

The Paid Sick Leave and Child Care Leave Tax Credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act are refundable payroll tax credits to immediately reimburse employers for the cost of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees. Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave, including health insurance costs, and will not face a payroll tax liability. Self-employed individuals may also receive an equivalent credit.

Employee Retention Credit

The Employee Retention Credit through the CARES Act is a fully refundable tax credit for employers who have closed or partially closed due to COVID-19 and have not received a Paycheck Protection Program loan. This tax credit is 50% of qualifying wages that eligible employers pay their employees, up to $10,000 per employee. The credit applies to qualifying wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. The refundable credits apply to the employer portion of payroll taxes.

Federal Tax Extension

The U.S. Treasury Department has announced that the federal tax-filing deadline extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020. Individuals and corporations can also delay their tax payments for 90 days. Individuals can defer up to $1 million in payments for 90 days from the April 15 deadline.

Taxpayers have until July 15, 2020, to respond to the IRS to verify that they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit or to verify their income. These taxpayers are encouraged to exercise their best efforts to obtain and submit all requested information, and if unable to do so, please reach out to the IRS indicating the reason such information is not available. Until July 15, 2020, the IRS will not deny these credits for a failure to provide any requested information. Visit the Internal Revenue Service for guidance on tax filing and payment deadlines, as well as additional resources at the Coronavirus Tax Relief page.

IRS People First Initiative

The IRS announced the People First Initiative to limit enforcement actions and postpone payment due under existing tools to enable taxpayers to pay taxes when they are unable to pay the full amount of their liability. The tools, Installment Payment Agreements and Offers in Compromise, are suspended and will not default, effective from April 1 to July 15, 2020.

Employer Tax Deferral (CARES)

The CARES Act allows employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s share of Social Security taxes and self-employed individuals to defer payment of certain self-employment taxes. Learn more from the IRS.

For State Tax Deferrals and information, visit this website for filing changes.

Many states are currently developing relief programs to supplement federal efforts. We will provide information on state-level efforts as we become aware of them. If your state is providing relief that is not currently on our list, please email us so we can add it to the list and help other clubs in the industry.

As of June 12, the following programs are still accepting applications for financial assistance:

Arkansas - Applications Closed

The Quick Action Loan Fund is a program to support small businesses with job retention, offering loans or loan guaranty of up to $250,000. For questions about how the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) can assist your business during this time, email: COVID19.businessinfo@arkansasedc.com.

California

California is offering two finance programs through the CA Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) for businesses with 1-750 employees. The Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program provides loan guarantees of up to $1 million for small business borrowers in declared disaster areas. The Jump Start Loan Program offers loans from $500 to $10,000 to low-wealth entrepreneurs in declared disaster and emergency areas.

Connecticut - Applications Closed

Businesses with 100 or fewer employees can apply for the Recovery Bridge Loan Program. These are no-interest loans of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses—whichever is lesser.

For specific questions related to small business, email the Joint Information Center at COVID19.JIC@ct.gov, or call the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) small business hotline at 860-500-2333.

Delaware

Businesses with less than $1.5 million in annual revenues that have been operating for at least 12 months could access up to $10,000 per business per month through the Hospitality Emergency Loan Program (HELP). The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 7139 is eligible.

Florida - Applications Closed

Small business owners with between two and 100 employees located in Florida can apply for short-term loans up to $50,000 through the Emergency Bridge Loan Program.

Idaho

Idaho is administering Rebound Cash Grants for small businesses. There are different programs available based on the number of employees. Please check here for more information.

Illinois - New Grant Program: June 2020

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced new Business Interruption grants, including $10 million in funding for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each. Application information will be available online Tuesday, June 23.

Louisiana

Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guarantee Program will offer loans of up to $100,000 to Louisiana small businesses of fewer than 100 employees that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The loans will require no payments for 180 days and carry below-market interest rates of no more than 3.5%.

Maine - Applications Closed

Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) COVID-19 Relief Business Direct Loan Program provides Direct Loans of up to $50,000 on a 12-month term, which, if necessary, can be extended to Maine-based businesses experiencing interruption or hardship due to COVID-19.

Maryland - Applications Closed

Maryland administers two relief programs:

  1. the Relief Loan Fund and
  2. the Relief Grant Fund.

They each have different eligibility requirements, so you should inquire within.

Massachusetts - Applications Closed

Businesses with under 50 full- and part-time employees can apply for the Recovery Loan Program, which provides emergency capital up to $75,000.

Michigan - Applications Closed

Michigan provides a Small Business Relief Program, but businesses must inquire at a local level.

Minnesota

The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program will help Minnesota lenders provide capital to Minnesota businesses with fewer than 250 employees. The number of employees includes the parent company and all locations.

The program will provide an 80% guarantee up to a maximum of $200,000. Each loan enrolled in the program is charged a .25% fee on the guarantee loan principal.

Mississippi

The Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program, created in May, provides grants to domestic Mississippi businesses with no more than 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees as of March 1 that suffered an interruption of business.

New Jersey - Applications Closed

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will offer a grant program for small businesses—with one to 10 full-time employees only—as well as a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders, and funding for Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs).

New Mexico

The COVID-19 Business Loan Guarantee Program will guarantee a portion of a loan or a line of credit up to 80% of the principal or $50,000. Loan proceeds are flexible and can be used for—but not limited to—working capital, inventory, and payroll.

North Carolina

The Rapid Recovery Loan Program provides up to $50,000—loan sizes capped at approximately two months of current revenue—with six months of no interest and no payments, followed by 48 months of principal and interest payments at 5.5% interest.

Oregon

The Oregon Small Business Navigator highlights a few Oregon-based relief programs. These programs have precise niche requirements, so we recommend you explore the page for the funds for which you may be eligible.

Pennsylvania

Eligible businesses must physically reside in-state, generate at least 51% of their revenues in Pennsylvania, and have 25 or fewer full-time employees (prior to February 15, 2020). This program will prioritize the types of businesses most impacted by the economic shutdown, among other factors. Applications will be received starting June 30, and open for 10 days. Any applications received after the initial 10-day period will be held and considered in future funding rounds, should funding remain available in the future, so apply ASAP.

Rhode Island

A partnership with the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) and the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, the Bridge Loan Program provides additional funding to restaurants and small businesses of up to 10 employees.

Your business must have first applied for the federal SBA emergency disaster loan to qualify. Companies can apply beginning on Friday, April 3, through the LISC website. You can also call 521-HELP.

South Dakota - Applications Closed

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Small Business Relief Fund will provide no-interest loans to small businesses with a physical presence in South Dakota with less than 250 employees.

Utah - Applications Closed

The Utah Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loan program is available to Utah-based small businesses with 50 or fewer employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $20,000 with 0% interest for up to a 60-month period. Loan amounts shall not exceed three months of demonstrated operating expenses. Deferrals for loan payments will last 12 months.. The program uses a minimum of 25% of the funding for rural Utah businesses.

Virginia

Fairfax County has established the $25 million Fairfax Relief Initiative to Support Employers (Fairfax RISE) grant program to assist small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Click here to fill out a county form to be notified when the grant application is available in June.

Washington - Applications Closed

The Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants provide a one-time grant of up to $10,000 to businesses with up to 10 full-time employees.

Wyoming

Wyoming is developing a series of grant programs. Eligibility thresholds have not been established at publishing. For more information, please review this page.

Almost every state has a page dedicated to business resources.

We put together a list with links to potential state-specific covid resources for business:

Updated August 11 at 9 a.m. EDT

All businesses that can open have state and local restrictions that must be followed and met as part of the opening.

Check your state’s general business guidance, health club-specific guidance (linked below where available), and any county and city regulations.

For ongoing information regarding states reopening health clubs, be sure to check your inbox for the latest Coronavirus Alert. If you don’t currently receive our Coronavirus Alerts, please email gr@ihrsa.org.

States where health clubs can open (43, plus D.C.):

States where health clubs in some regions can open:

  • California - Check your county for the latest. On July 13, Gov. Newsome announced the closing of indoor operations in 30 counties. (San Francisco likely will not reopen gyms until mid-August.) Guidance
  • Michigan - Under Phase 5, clubs could reopen in Regions 6 and 8. (Clubs were expected to open on Thursday June 25, after a federal judge refused Governor Whitmer's request to stay his decision. However, opening is currently delayed in the courts.) Fitness guidance; workplace guidelines and employer checklist
  • Washington - Check your county phase here; August Updated Guidance. (On July 2, the Governor paused consideration of all pending phase applications. Counties in Phase 2 can offer personal training and small-group fitness classes of five people or less, since June 1.) (Phase 2 guidance)

States where health clubs are closed:

  • Arizona - ON PAUSE - Clubs CLOSED again by order of the governor on June 29. (AZ Gov. EO 26-20. Previously: guidance and pool guidance)
  • New Jersey - CLOSED
  • New York - CLOSED
  • North Carolina - CLOSED (The North Carolina Attorney General’s office stated in a letter on June 5 that “the Governor interprets Executive Order No. 141 to allow the use of indoor gyms or fitness facilities when that use is prescribed by or directed by a medical professional.”)

Are You Receiving IHRSA’s Coronavirus Alerts?

IHRSA's Government Relations team regularly alerts on all that we are doing nationwide to save and get relief for health clubs across the country.

Email GR@ihrsa.org to subscribe for free.

If you have any questions or would like to subscribe to the coronavirus alert, please contact Olivia MacLennan, IHRSA's government relations coordinator.

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IHRSA Staff @IHRSA

This article was a team effort by several IHRSA experts.