Julie Gronquist 0

Gov. Walz we ask you to let small fitness boutique centers reopen now for private training sessions & small group classes

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As members of the Minnesota small boutique fitness studio community, we have meticulously implemented protocols above and beyond the protocols required of us since we re-opened in June. We implore the Governor to reexamine the broad category of business defined as ‘fitness’ to consider allowing small, boutique fitness “by appointment only” studios offering primarily private training and small group classes, be allowed to reopen Dec 19th. Small fitness studios differ from big box gyms and fitness centers in the following ways:

  • Unlike other methods of movement that provoke heavy breathing and sweating such as running, services we offer such as Pilates and Yoga focus on functional movement patterns.
  • Services are primarily one-on-one training (1 instructor/1 client) and small groups of socially distanced participants often 6 or less people.
  • All of our Services are by appointment only.
  • We can perform our services without physical contact, unlike nail salons, hair salons, chiropractors, and tattoo artists.
  • We do not have basketball courts, pools, or huge locker rooms

We propose that Governor Walz and his team be open to the fact that there is a middle ground as opposed to being closed and take the next step to re-open us with new further restrictions:

  1. Allow us to re-open Dec 19th with masks required for all staff and clients at all times in the facility
  2. Allow us to open Dec 19th for private training and small group classes only

Why we think masks are the solution to allow us to re-open on Dec 19th.

  • The MDH’s own data, in MDH’s Restaurant and Social Outbreak Summary, interim update dated 11/17/20 it shows only 3 total number of cases of employees at gyms in the state of MN since June. We believe that points toward the fact that masks were required for staff.
  • We are being clumped in with restaurants but there is a large difference between our industry, people can’t wear masks while they eat and can’t socially distance at a table but in our environment they can do both.
  • Many of the small business fitness boutique owners recognized that masks were essential and required our staff and clients to wear them even while working out since we re-opened, proving clients can workout safely with masks. Many states in the US required masks be worn by staff and clients at all times but MN was not one of them. We believe that is the next logical step.

Things to consider.

    • Our fitness industry is essential to community health physical, emotional and mental.
    • Small Fitness Boutiques, don’t have big investor pockets like the large health clubs do. We were shut down a second time and this time with no aid which is a double whammy.
    • In addition, this industry is one of the few female-led and powered industries in existence. We estimate 75% of the owners and workers impacted by this crisis are women. We know our staff need to financially support their families and need us to be open for them to do so.
    • We have been closed for now 4 months in 2020 with the two separates shut downs. Revenue has dropped significantly. Unless we are allowed to open our doors Dec 19th, we are at great risk of a large percentage of small fitness boutiques closing their doors forever.

We thank you for taking the time to read and sign our petition. We encourage you to add comments and read comments from our staff, clients and our local communities supporting small businesses.

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