Local gyms pushing for passage of ‘GYMS Act’ to help offset pandemic losses

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CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) — The financial impact of the pandemic will linger for many. Local gyms say they’ve been especially weakened by the coronavirus.

The owners of Gold’s Gym in Camp Hill and Linglestown are emailing their members to petition their congressmen and women to help local gyms stay afloat by supporting the GYMS Act. It would create a $30 billion fund to provide grants to businesses in the health and fitness industry.

According to the Global Health and Fitness Association, the fitness industry has lost more than $20 billion in revenue from the pandemic through December of last year. Local gym owners say it’s a hard hit.

“Our landlords, because the financial responsibility we have from them is not in the tens of thousands of dollars. It’s in the next bracket up,” Jim Czupil, owner of Gold’s Gym, Linglestown and Camp Hill said.

It’s something Czupil says would be nearly impossible to make up without some help.

“That’s why the GYMS Act is so important to us, because it really in many respects is our only way of starting out with a clean slate,” Czupil said.

While Czupil says about 75 percent of his pre-pandemic customers are back now, closure worries are still very real.

“We could have probably closed a couple of times, but we want to hang in there part of it because we believe the community needs it,” Czupil said.

“I find as an older person, this keeps me young,” Kathleen Jacobs, Gold’s Gym member, said.

Czupil is a member of the Pennsylvania Fitness Alliance.

“We think that oh everything is okay again, and in reality, our trouble isn’t in the windshield. It’s in the rearview mirror right now,” Czupil said.

The owners at Gold’s Gym say every little bit helps. Right now the GYMS Act has more than 125 cosponsors.

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