Save the Health and Wellness Industry from COVID-19!

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Over the past few weeks, COVID-19 has presented an enormous challenge to the health and wellness industry. Businesses around the globe have closed their doors, laid off their employees and seen their income drop to zero. In the last two weeks alone, 80-90% of ClassPass’ 30,000 partners across 30 countries have temporarily closed for business. These are businesses that keep our communities healthy and resilient, and the global COVID-19 puts them at risk.

Customers, business owners and industry advocates are coming together to do what we can to help thousands of mostly small businesses and their employees get through this. But it’s not enough. We need our governments to step up and support these businesses to preserve these integral communities for the foreseeable future. Our health — and the health of our economies — relies on this. 

In light of COVID-19, we have come together to request COVID-19 relief in the following ways:

  1. Rent relief: Rent is the most significant cost for most in our industry and the single most important policy theme for our industry right now. Without a policy intervention, the inflexibility of private landlords will drive many businesses to close permanently. Policies should be put in place to prohibit eviction, incentivize reduced rent, or to guarantee rent holidays to ensure businesses can reopen after this crisis subsides.
  2. Financial assistance to support the workforce: Thousands of fitness instructors, front desk staff, cleaning teams and venue managers are without work. Direct financial assistance or UBI-like stipends are necessary so they can afford basic expenses while awaiting the cessation of government mandated shutdowns. Wherever possible, this assistance should be provided in a way that preserves employment relationships for the long term, by subsidizing wages for underutilized staff during this period.
  3. Loan, tax and interest relief: We ask that governments put 2020 tax holidays in place for any business that provides health and wellness services as their primary product. Governments should also consider mandating the postponement of debt repayment and provide other forms of relief from existing financial obligations. 
  4. Leveling up incentives for employers to invest in employee wellness: Regular fitness regimes reduce the costs of long-term public health issues. In fact, IHRSA notes that fitness regimes make populations more resilient against infection, including respiratory infection. Several countries already offer generous tax incentives to companies who provide fitness and wellness services to their employees – incentivizing employers to co-invest in these public goods in countries where governments don’t already do so will powerfully aid in the recovery of this sector.    
  5. All of this relief is provided in a way that optimizes for simplicity and speed: It is troubling to see smaller fitness providers already announcing they are permanently closing for business, and some of the largest brands laying off almost their entire workforce, amidst widespread confusion about what support is available to them, and uncertainty about how fast it will arrive. Offering a stimulus that gets relief funds into the economy as fast as possible while minimizing confusing qualification criteria and bureaucracy will go far in ensuring these businesses can open their doors again.
    We and all of our partners thank you for your support.

Regards,

The Health and Wellness Industry

Fritz Lanman, CEO, ClassPass

Payal Kadakia, Founder and Executive Chairman, ClassPass

Andy Stenzler, CEO, Rumble

Joey Gonzalez, CEO, Barry’s Bootcamp

Anthony Geisler, CEO, Xponential

Mike Abramson, COO, Xponential

Karl Sanft, COO, 24 Hour Fitness

Frank Napolitano, President, 24 Hour Fitness

Patrick Walsh, CEO, Town Sports International

Jim Rowley, CEO, Crunch Fitness Worldwide

Keith Worts, CEO, Crunch Fitness Signature

Mike Neff, VP, Crunch Fitness Signature

Colin Grant, CEO, Pure Group

Adam Zeitsiff, President & CEO, Gold's Gym

Chuck Runyon, CEO, Anytime Fitness

Weldon Spangler, CEO, Lift Brands Inc.

Travis Frenzel, President, Flywheel

Anne Mahlum, Founder and CEO, Solidcore

Bonnie Michel, Tracy Roemer and Matt Micheli, Founders, Shred415

Tim Suski, Co-Owner, Rush Cycle

Heather Shalabi, Founder, Flex Studios

Amy Boone Thompson, Vice President & General Manager, IDEA Health & Fitness Association

Vivienne Fitzpatrick, Founder, H-KORE

Peter Thew, Founder and CEO, Yoga Movement 

Joan Murphy, CEO, Frame

Leonardo Pere, CEO, Selfit

Ryan Junk, President, CycleBar

Shaun Grove, President, Club Pilates

Brad Robinson, Founder and CEO, Ritual Gym 

Luiz Urquiza, CEO, Bodytech Brazil

Sarah Luna, President, Pure Barre

Marc Caputo, CEO, Cycle House

Han Doorenbosch, CEO, Urban Gym Group 

Till Trilling, Founder and CEO, Ride bln

Guy van der Reijden, CEO, PLTS

Zsoka Bernard, CEO, Balanzs

Ramon Castillon, President, Row House

Melissa Chordock President, AKT

Lindsey Junk, President, YogaSix

Lou DeFrancisco, President, StretchLab

Jeff Stokes, President, STRIDE

Gundula Cöllen, Founder & CEO, BeCycle

Jonathan Fisher, CEO, Holmes Place Brands B.V 

Agustin Santellan, Founder and CEO, HitBox

Ana Jimena Ramírez España, CEO, Sersana

Alejandro Ramos, CEO, Síclo

Eduardo Mussali, CEO, Commando

Rick Berks, CEO, Youfit Health Clubs

Sophie Azout, CEO, Cyglo

Laura Casallas, CEO, Brigada

Ross Campbell, Founder and CEO, FIT Summit

Stewart Miller, Founder and CEO, The Platform

Kjetil Rygh, CEO, Mudo Gym

Dave Nuku, Co-founder, Firestation Malaysia

Tiffany Yow, Co-founder, 'The Flow' Malaysia

Katrina Taib, Co-founder, Aloha Cycle Club Malaysia

Janice Lee, Head of Operations, Ministry of Burn

Kenny Choong, Co-founder, FLYPROJECT Malaysia

Linda Tang and Anabel Chew, Co-founders, WeBarre

Yen Kee, Co-founder, Playground Malaysia

Karen Lim, Founder, Barre 2 Barre

Joanne Mathews, CEO, Ten Health and Fitness

Jack Thomas, Founder and CEO, BASE and Fitness Asia podcast

Louis Prutschi Weil, CEO, Quarzo