Federal Support for U.S. Fitness Businesses
The group touched on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Employee Retention Credit (ERC) loans, which were largely implemented to help businesses support employees to keep their jobs.
“A challenge for studios is that they have independent contractors so they don’t qualify for the loans or as much, and we predict this is why a lot of studios are closing,” said Kooperman.
It is recommended that eligible businesses apply for the second round even if they received the first, the hosts noted, and said it’s not too late to apply, but to do so soon.
Updates on Possible Industry Relief
The panel shared a proposed industry relief package in the U.S., referred to as the GYMS Act or the Gyms Mitigation and Survival Act, which could be a critical opportunity to deliver broader relief for the fitness industry at large.
“If this passes, it will mean a huge bounce back for all,” said McHaney.
The bill was introduced February 5 by Reps. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). IHRSA will release more information on the progress of the GYMS Act as it moves through Congress. Learn how you can support this bipartisan bill at ihrsa.org/savefitness.
What’s Behind Peloton’s Purchase of Precor?
Peloton’s purchase of Precor was big news and the panel discussed its potential impact on the industry. The transaction cost $420 million.
McBride gave some insights on the reasoning behind the purchase. Peloton was having trouble keeping up with manufacturing demand for equipment, McBride noted, and Precor has the capacity to help with that demand and possibly the hardware of the bike, as well. So overall, this was a good deal for both companies, McBride said.
A Shortage of Instructors in Australia
Kooperman discussed the shortage of instructors and trainers coming back to work in Australia after gyms had been closed for 10 months and what it could mean for the industry as a whole.
The best trainers are delivering virtually, connecting with communities and even starting businesses, she said, so it’s imperative for club owners and managers to stay in touch and connect with instructors.
“They will help bring members back,” she said.