Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC), the trade association representing about 5,000 fitness businesses that serve more than four million members nationwide, is issuing an urgent appeal to the government at all levels across Canada for emergency support.
In the wake of unprecedented fitness business closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FIC members are asking provincial governments for help in the form of rent abatement until facilities can responsibly be reopened. With clubs closed and membership dues suspended, many facility owners will have difficulty paying end-of-month operational expenses, including rent, and seek temporary abatement to help them financially survive.
“Our members responsibly agreed to close their doors to limit the spread of COVID-19 earlier this month,” said Scott Wildeman, President of FIC.
“However, as the timeline around business returning to normal becomes less and less clear, we are pleading with government to assist our members from closing permanently. If fitness clubs are all forced into bankruptcy, the social impact on society will be devastating,” added Wildeman.
Wildeman said the fitness industry needs urgent assistance in order to survive.
“With rents due imminently, owners and operators of fitness facilities across Canada will be reaching out to MPPs and MLAs to press for relief,” said Wildeman.
FIC members recognize that government’s initial priority is focused on ensuring Canadians have enough money to pay their household bills and feed their families. Wildeman said important community businesses like gyms and fitness clubs will be critically important for Canadians when they’re able to get back to regular day-to-day routines and regular physical activity.