Congressman leads charge to help gyms struggling during COVID pandemic

Rep. Mike Quigley's GYMS Act would provide federal funding to help the owners of gyms and fitness centers who have been struggling during the pandemic.

Video Transcript

LEAH HOPE: Workouts, still intense.

SEAN ARMSTEAD: Leg crunch. Yep, now. There you go. Now back down.

LEAH HOPE: And challenges to gym owners during this pandemic, also intense. Owner of Phenomenal Fitness, Sean Armstead says, at the worst business was down 60% when they could be open, but there were three months when they were completely shut down. And he adds, they were shut out of any substantial federal financial assistance.

SEAN ARMSTEAD: I'm really disappointed at my bank and how they haven't supported us in PPP and I've been with them-- We've been with them for over two decades. And-- but there are other people, many clients have stepped up.

LEAH HOPE: There are similar stories around Chicagoland.

JUSTIN MARCIS: We've been hit really hard. You know, we're down probably 40%, 45% in terms of our overall revenue.

MIKE QUIGLEY: We've already lost thousands of gems across the country. There's a lot just hanging in there.

LEAH HOPE: Congressman Mike Quigley introduced the Gym Mitigation and Survival Act, known as the GYMS Act. It would be $30 billion in aid to gyms and fitness centers. He says it would be good for business and our well-being.

MIKE QUIGLEY: I think we've suffered a double whammy there. People aren't in as good a shape. They're depressed. They're trapped in their houses, they can't get out. They can't socialize and they can't get in the shape they need to face the pandemic.

JUSTIN MARCIS: It would be great to get some funding and get some help for our payroll, our rent, our mortgage, our utilities.

SEAN ARMSTEAD: If we were able to get a robust assistance financially, the sky's the limit.

LEAH HOPE: Congressman Quigley hopes to get movement on this bill soon to get help to these gyms and fitness centers so that more of these small businesses aren't lost.