Each week, IHRSA Interim President & CEO Brent Darden will bring you his most important topics of the moment in a short five-minute video as part of an ongoing series called “Take 5.”

IHRSA’s Take 5: Unite for Greater Good of Our Industry [VIDEO]

IHRSA interim President & CEO Brent Darden shares a big update on IHRSA 2021, discusses the Small Business Administration’s efforts to provide relief to the health and fitness industry, and gives some behind-the-scenes insight on the industry in this week's IHRSA Take 5.

  • June 23, 2021

IHRSA 2021 Convention and Trade Show is just a little over 100 days away and in this week’s Take 5, Brent shares a big update on the event so you can prepare your trip in October.

He also shares details on IHRSA’s discussion with the Small Business Administration in an effort to help the health and fitness industry get the relief it needs.

Brent also gives some behind-the-scenes insight and hard truths about the fitness industry during the pandemic.

Watch the full video for all of the latest news. You can also read the transcript below.

  • 0:18 SBA Asks IHRSA for Advice
  • 1:02 IHRSA 2021 Registration is Now Open
  • 1:57 3 Hard Truths from Brent

Full Transcript

We're just a little over 100 days from IHRSA 2021 and we have an update for those of you that will be joining us so let's get right to it.

Thank you for joining me again for another IHRSA Take 5, sponsored by Precor.

SBA Asks IHRSA for Advice

Since the start of the crisis, IHRSA has advocated on behalf of the broad health and fitness industry to help businesses get the relief they need. Rest assured that these efforts have not been in vain. Recently, the Small Business Administration, SBA, reached out to us. Yes, reached out to IHRSA for advice on how they can tweak the EIDL program so that gyms and other fitness businesses can take advantage of the program.

Currently, businesses can get up to $500,000, but the SBA is hoping to increase that amount to two million. So we'll keep you posted on what's to come.

IHRSA 2021 Registration is Now Open

It's hard to believe, but there really is just a little over 100 days left until IHRSA 21 Convention and Trade Show is open and registration is now officially ready. Your attendance to this event is important, and we hope to see as many of you as possible supporting the fitness industry through our recovery and comeback.

As I've shared in previous videos, many of the encouraging signs, trends, both inside and outside of our industry are there. And these are all really valid reasons for optimism. A well-attended convention and trade show will be yet another testimony to our revival. So head on over to ihrsa.org/2021registration to register right now and we'll see you in my backyard in October.

3 Hard Truths from Brent

Now I'd like to share just a little behind-the-scenes insight about an uglier, or at least not such a Pollyanna view of our beloved industry. First, we really are making tremendous strides with the GYMS Act, in spite of the naysayers who believed early on that these efforts would really be a waste of time. As is often the case with any movement or initiative, there are a small nucleus of passionate individuals driving this forward and really making it happen. People on the IHRSA staff of course, but also volunteers, like Gale Landers, Kevin McHugh, Chris Crater, just to name a few, and I can name many.

Well, you likely don't know that there are a few big, well-capitalized players in our industry, who not only have not really been supporting these efforts, but they really prefer to stand on the sidelines and ostensibly observe additional club closures, which in their mind ultimately means more market share for them in the future.

Second, we've all seen the influx of private equity in our industry, as well as the increased interest from the financial investment markets and there are many positives related to this activity. As an industry, we're maturing and as part of that process, we're becoming more professional, more customer-centric, more data-driven, more digital, and even more profit-conscious, all good things. But these investors often evaluate the opportunity for predictable and favorable returns in the health and fitness sector, in comparison with senior care, solar grids, restaurants, or maybe even storage warehouses. Along the way, my hope is that our industry doesn't lose its soul and its passion for making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Finally, I get to speak with someone who doesn't believe that our industry would benefit from a united voice and messaging. Of course, this often means in their minds, their voice or a similar version of another voice. But whether it's lobbying, introducing relief packages, supporting tax credits, or consumer-facing messaging, we sincerely do need to set egos and self-serving interest aside to align with the trade association's, your trade association's, efforts for the greater good of our industry.

That's it for this week. Thanks for listening and please tune into my last Take 5 next week. Live well until then.

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Ofelia Martinez

Ofelia Martinez is a contributor to IHRSA.org.