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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
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