An Article From our Founder, Tara Gordon
New York City continues to move forward in our Phased Reopening – except for fitness based wellness businesses which were were suddenly and inexplicably downgraded by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo from Phase 4 to “Closed Indefinitely.”
It makes no sense to essentially kill off an industry that naturally boosts the immune system while we are in the middle of a pandemic. And it is a terrible idea to keep people from spaces that aid mental health while they are struggling with the isolation of quarantine and the anguish of job loss.
While it is understandable to place restrictions on businesses to protect public health, there has to be a distinction between mega-gyms packed with hundreds of bodies and small studios that naturally social distance
If delayed from reopening much longer, the unique studios that make NYC a Fitness and Wellness leader will soon be unable to ever reopen. We have lost too much revenue and owe months of rent that cannot be paid.
Why was reopening permission for health and wellness revoked when so many riskier businesses are already open or soon will be? To name just a few: massage parlors, hair salons, and day care are all open for business as of July 13th. Even a literal sex club, NSFW, has been allowed to reopen. These have far less social distance than fitness boutiques.
If you want to see a studio or fitness method you love survive in New York, please contact Governor Como’s office and your local representatives. If you are one of the lucky ones who still has a job, consider subscribing for virtual services or even just continuing to pay for classes in advance to support your favorite small studio during the shutdown.
Eventually this pandemic will end. People will look to return to the small fitness businesses that helped them improve their physical and mental health. But, will they still be there? Your support now will determine the answer. We all have to decide what businesses we want to see survive.
Many studios are currently making as little as 10% of their normal sales – not profit, sales. Many smaller studios do not qualify for the economic stimulus loans because their fitness teachers and therapists are not technically employees.
In this crisis we should all tell officials if we see something unsafe. But we also need to let them know if a business is safe and still being prevented from reopening.
Many small studios are clean and care about their community so much they have already heavily invested in protecting the health of their members. Speaking to other small studio owners, I have discovered that like me many have bought expensive hospital-grade cleaning supplies and air filters.
212 Pilates, my studio, is 1,800 square feet. Our largest class is three to four students. Even in one of our four treatment rooms utilized by physical therapists and for acupuncture it is possible to socially distance.
Why do we still have no reopening date?
Imagine a New York City without gyms or studios, without 1-on-1 training, without the therapies that help us recover from injuries and work through pain. As a city, New York has always valued fitness. Now is the time to strengthen not throw it away.
If you believe the fitness industry should survive in New York, it is time to speak-up. Influencers, use your influence for good. If you have the financial means, adopt a local fitness business or a teacher.
We are facing a virus with no vaccine, no cure, and limited treatment options. Fitness bolsters your immune system and helps you naturally fight off pathogens. It is time to demand that Governor Cuomo treat fitness like the essential industry that it is.