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Local fitness, yoga studios in support of GYMS Act

The legislation would provide over $30 billion in grant funding to businesses in the health and fitness industry.
The legislation would provide over $30 billion in grant funding to businesses in the health and...
The legislation would provide over $30 billion in grant funding to businesses in the health and fitness industry.(WMTV)
Published: May. 21, 2021 at 3:26 PM CDT|Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV) - Local yoga studios and fitness centers are struggling to turn the page on the pandemic. Now, they’re hoping some federal legislation can help.

The Gym Mitigation and Survival Act would establish a recovery fund to provide relief to health and fitness establishments impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Dragonfly Yoga, owners Carlos and Megan Tucker say the loan assistance they have received so far has not been enough.

“We reached a critical threshold,” said Carlos Tucker. “We’re back. We’re getting the doors back open but now we’ve got 14 months of debt that we have to cover for.”

Recently, the couple decided to reach out to the public as part of a crowd-funding campaign called Save D-Fly.

“I don’t like having to use our community to try and save us,” said Megan Tucker. “It shouldn’t be their responsibility but look at what they’re doing.”

The Dragonfly owners have a goal of about $400,000 which would primarily cover rent expenses at their four Dane County locations.

“We’ve made it through the hardest part,” said Megan. “We just need some support.”

At Peter Kraus Fitness, owner Peter Kraus says small business disaster loans don’t provide as much money as many owners need.

“We got some funding in the first round and almost none in the second round,” said Kraus. “That was to pay for our payroll and to pay for bills that weren’t being paid throughout that time. It just wasn’t enough.”

He says gym memberships have helped to carry him through the past few months.

“If I didn’t have that secondary source, we’d probably be hurting as well,” said Kraus.

Local gyms say this time of year usually marks a downturn in business.

“Gyms have always been slower during the summer. It’s just the way it is here in the Midwest,” said Kraus. “We have to get through the slow months because everybody’s outside enjoying the outdoors.”

“We always plan for that in winter,” said Megan Tucker. “To be on the slower end of the severity of the pandemic but then to have to open up in the summer which is a slow time, it’s a little scary.”

Both the owners of Dragonfly and Peter Kraus Fitness say the GYMS Act is exactly what locally owned fitness centers need to fully recover.

So far, only one Wisconsin congressman, Mike Gallagher (R – Green Bay) has pledged support for the bill. To view the full list of the supporters click here.

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