SURVIVABILITY OF AN ESSENTIAL INDUSTRY. The newly formed Boutique Fitness Coalition (BFC) announces three initiatives to help hard-hit small business survive the COVID-19 crisis.
The BFC founder Lisa Kuecker explains that “the Coalition has been formed to support struggling studio owners while also educating government officials who are in the midst of developing plans on when and how to reopen the economy. Our small studios can provide a safe, sanitary, and socially distanced setting for millions of people to obtain the exercise they need. As our clients know, boutique fitness studios are not the stereotypical gym or large fitness center with large gatherings of people where the risk of spreading a disease could present challenges in this current COVID-19 environment. Our studios present a much smaller footprint, with a setting much more amenable to smart mitigation measures to ensure the health of the few people entering the facility at a time.”
With a goal of 10,000 signatures from fitness professionals and consumers, last week the BFC unveiled a petition to communicate directly with our federal, state, and local officials. Kuecker explained that the petition “has gained traction with little marketing at this time. We are approaching 2,000 signatures, and this week are bringing larger partners on board to help deliver this important message.”
The petition acknowledges the wise decision to use mitigation measures to “flatten the curve,” but also explains that boutique fitness studios and micro-gyms have been wrongly classified alongside in the much larger fitness center category. Kuecker notes that “federal guidelines encourage smart social distancing while reducing gatherings of people to 10 and under. That same guidance can and should be applied to our studio owners, who could begin serving clients again.”
Although the economic impact of COVID-19 has touched all small businesses, it’s important to note the radically negative impact to this female-led industry. Because boutique fitness studios make up approximately 42% of the overall $88 billion fitness industry, these owners are losing over $700 million every week. Kuecker expressed concern because “roughly 75% of these studio owners and instructors are women, many of whom are sole breadwinners for their families.”
Although the economic impact is a critical concern, it’s not the only one. The fitness community understands that being healthy, fit, and free from preventable diseases is a key defense to COVID-19. “Especially when considering potential recurring waives of this disease, or other diseases in the future, we need our fabulous fitness industry to responsibly open its doors as quickly as possible to help our clients improve their health,” says Kuecker.
In addition to this petition, BFC has partnered with a family-owned printing business to release limited edition shirts with 50% of the proceeds going to fitness professionals while also providing free legal and accounting training for fitness professionals in the U.S.
For more informatuion visit boutiquefitnesscoalition.com.